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JAPANESE GRANT

Rail training center to rise in subway depot

With construction of the country’s first subway under way, the Philippine and Japanese governments have also approved the curriculum for the upcoming Philippine Railway Institute (PRI), a training institution being planned to help boost local expertise in the railway industry.

The catalog of competencies and courses for the PRI was approved shortly after the Feb. 27 groundbreaking of the subway project on a 4-hectare lot at Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City, where the depot and the institute will be built.

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Funded by a P320-million grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the PRI is envisioned to become the primary policy-making and administrative agency on human resource development in the Philippine railway sector.

Rail expertise

Once open, it will offer nine certificate and licensing courses covering specialized disciplines in railway operations and maintenance.

Though housed at the upcoming subway’s depot, the PRI is envisioned to complement the massive railway network being built under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.

Among the several railway projects being undertaken by the government are the rehabilitation of the Metro Rail Transit 3 line, the construction of Light Rail Transit 4, and the North-South Commuter Railway Project-Philippine National Railway Clark-Calamba lines.

The state looks to mass transit as the alternative mode of transportation to ease urban congestion.

Proper psyche

“Aside from the skills and talent, we want our railways personnel to have the proper psyche and culture of discipline for the job,” Tugade said.

Transport officials hoped to model the PRI on the Tokyo Metro Railway Institute, which would also help train local experts to operate and maintain city railroad networks.

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A group of 30 experts will host a series of training programs at Tokyo Metro Training Center for up to 50 PRI future staffers and instructors before the PRI officially opens in 2021.

The training will be fully funded by the Japanese government, the Department of Transportation said.

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TAGS: JICA, Philippine Railway Institute, PRI
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