A railway institute will soon be established to train and certify individuals interested to engage in the development of the railway system in the country.
This, as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) signed a memorandum of agreement with various academic institutions in creating the country’s first-ever Philippine Railway Institute (PRI), during the Transportation Summit 2018 (TransMit) held in Intramuros, Manila Thursday.
“I congratulate the universities that have railway institutes in their own right doing specialization. I look forward that your universities can coordinate with the railway institute. As a nation, we can establish a railway institute that is not only benchmarking what Japan is doing but I wish in the future that it can be an envy in the world when it comes to railway efficiency,” DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said in his speech during the event.
DOTr also signed the Records of Discussion with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which will lay down the steps and timeline for the establishment of the PRI.
The PRI will provide the human and knowledge resources needed to design, build, operate, and maintain the massive railways pipeline under the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build program.
It is envisioned to become a training institution and licensing body, which will ensure that 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.
Among the academic institutions involved in the partnership are TransMit host Mapua University, National University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas.
For his part, DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said, “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.”
The DOTr targets to create 1,900 km. of railroad tracks by the end of the Duterte administration in 2022 from the current 77 km. of operational railways in the country.
“Delivering this massive railways pipeline will require not just the more than PHP1 trillion 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,” Batan said. PNA