DOTr to put up railways training center with JICA, academe

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The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has partnered with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and various academic institutions to establish the first-ever Philippine Railways Institute (PRI), envisioned to produce qualified personnel to run trains.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on March 1 signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with various academic institutions to ensure the country will be able to provide the human and knowledge resources needed to design, build, operate, and maintain the massive railways pipeline under the administration’s Build, Build, Build (BBB) infrastructure program.

The academic institutions involved in the partnership are Mapua University, National University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Technological Institute of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas.

DOTr and JICA also signed the records of discussion, which sets out the steps and timeline for establishing the PRI.

Currently, the Philippines has only 77 kilometers of operational railways, but under the BBB program, DOTr targets building 1,900 kilometers of rails by 2022.

“Delivering this massive railways pipeline will require not just the more than 1 trillion pesos that the government will be investing, it will also require talented and hardworking individuals, especially young and optimistic ones, who are committed to serving the nation,” DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said.

PRI is envisioned to become a training institution and licensing body, which will ensure all individuals who will operate and maintain the trains, as well as other personnel involved in operations, will have the necessary skills, qualifications, and service-oriented mindset.
“The PRI will ensure that the Philippines’ Golden Age of Infrastructure will be sustained and will continue delivering the reliable service that our people deserve long after all of the Build Build Build projects are completed,” Batan said.

Rail projects in the pipeline under BBB include Metro Manila Subway, Philippine National Railways (PNR) Phase 1 and 2, PNR Bicol, PNR Los Baños, PNR Clark Phase 1, Mindanao Railway Phase 1, Metro Rail Transit 7, Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 Cavite Extension, LRT Line 2 West Extension and East Extension, and Cebu Railway.

Image courtesy of gnepphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net