The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it takes “exception to an incident that happened on Sunday, 12 April 2020 in Barangay Halang in Calamba City, Laguna where some people obstructed the PNR’s right-of-way, blocked the railway tracks and prevented the passage of a PNR train on the reason that the barangay is enforcing its own quarantine rules.”
According to PNR General Manager Jun Magno, the barangay officials and the persons who obstructed the free and safe passage of the train in the said are are not aware that the DOTr Rail Sector, which includes the PNR, is considered a frontliner in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The PNR under law, is a reserve transport battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) attached to the Philippine Army since 1941. It may be called upon to render service during times of calamities and emergency such as the present COVID-19 health crisis,” the DOTr said.
DOTr said obstructing the passage of the PNR train in Barangay Halang in Calamba City, is a clear violation of the PNR’s mandate to always make available its right of way to render public service.
“We also question the alleged enforcement of the barangay’s enforcement of quarantine rules when in fact the area was crowded and there were many people outside their homes,” it added.
“For delaying the corporate operation of a government front line agency, the DOTr and the PNR intend to file civil cases and is also coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government for the filing of administrative cases against the barangay officials behind the obstruction of the train in Barangay Halang in Calamba City,” DOTr said.