In line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s country’s Build Better More campaign, the Philippines’ Transportation Department assured Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of its railway institute’s capability to train the needed critical mass of workforce required for all existing and upcoming railway lines. 

Transport Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez told Japan’s premier in a briefing that the Philippine Railways Institute (PRI) is now training engineers, technicians, and operators for the MRT-7 which is expected to operate by 2025.

The Philippine transport official also attested to the PRI’s readiness to capacitate the workforce required in existing and upcoming railway systems currently operated by both the Philippine government and the private sector.

Also present during the briefing were Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko, Japan’s envoy to the Philippines; Dr. Masafumi Mori, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister; and Atsushi Uehara, Japan’s Vice Minister for International Affairs.

Undersecretary Chavez also highlighted the pivotal role played by Japanese training in shaping the expertise of professors, instructors, and personnel at the PRI. 

Chavez underscored that the core of the institute’s professionals received specialized training in Japan, contributing significantly to the development of the Philippines’ railways sector. 

The Philippine transport official also expressed gratitude to Japan for donating a state-of-the-art train simulator room, providing the Philippines with a cutting-edge facility to enhance their skills and ensure the highest standards of safety and efficiency in the country’s railway operations. 

Prime Minister Kishida himself was given a hands-on experience with the train simulator, underscoring the effectiveness of training equipment as well as symbolizing Japan’s commitment to ensuring the Philippines’ success in railway development.

Aside from the train simulator room, Prime Minister Kishida also inspected the tunnel boring machines deployed at the Metro Manila subway depot in Valenzuela City during his official visit to the Philippines.

About nine Philippine big-ticket transport projects–two aviation, two maritime, five railways–are being built or will be delivered on the back of JPY 1.315 trillion worth of Japanese aid.

The five railway projects are identified as the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension, LRT Line 2 East Extension, MRT Line 3 Rehabilitation and Maintenance, North-South Commuter Rail System, and Metro Manila Subway Project.

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