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Friday, March 2, 2018

DOTr Partners with JICA, Academe, for Establishment of First-Ever Philippine Railways Institute


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The Department of Transportation (DOTr) partnered with various academic institutions and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in establishing the first-ever Philippine Railways Institute (PRI).

During the first day of Transportation Summit (TransMit) 2018 in Intramuros, Manila yesterday, 1 March 2018, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with various academic institutions to ensure that 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 Duterte Administration’s Build, Build, Build program.

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

The DOTr and JICA also signed the Records of Discussion, which sets out the steps and timeline for the establishment of the PRI.

Currently, the Philippines only has 77-km. of operational railways. But under the Duterte Administration’s Build Build Build program, the DOTr targets to build 1,900-km. 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,” Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan said.

He added that while building new railways is important, it is equally important to ensure that the new trains and other components of these new railways are operated and maintained efficiently, reliably, and on a par with international best practices.

The Philippine Railways Institute (PRI) 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.

"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. 

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