PRI on track to train 100% of PH rail workers by 2025

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

May 22, 2024, 3:20 pm

<p>LRT-2 Antipolo station <em>(File photo)</em></p>

LRT-2 Antipolo station (File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine Railway Institute (PRI) is on track to train 100 percent of all operations and maintenance (O&M) workforce and train drivers in the rail sector by 2025 as the country builds more railroad tracks.

In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the PRI has reached its target of training 76.01 percent of O&M workforce and 72.06 percent of train drivers as of May, heading into an overall target of 80 percent by December and 100 percent in June 2025.

“Equipping railway human resources -- operators, engineers, and other personnel -- with the latest rail technology, the railway sector can level up passenger experience,” the DOTr said.

The facilities used include training simulators granted by the Japanese government.

These simulators, it said, allow the digitalization of major rail projects such as the Metro Rail Transit Line 7, North-South Commuter Railway, Metro Manila Subway, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 – Cavite Extension.

The PRI, established in 2019, was created to ensure efficient, reliable and safe railway transportation services.

The training institution and licensing body ensures that all persons who will operate and maintain the trains, as well as other personnel involved in operations, will have the skills and qualifications.

During the 8th Joint Coordination Committee Meeting on Wednesday, the DOTr, PRI, the Embassy of Japan, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency discussed the onset of the 2nd phase of the PRI-Technical Assistance Project.

The project's second phase would include a digital transformation action plan with focus on railway maintenance through virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality training.

During the event, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said boosting the competency of the country’s railway personnel would also elevate its transportation system to global standards.

“PRI has adapted to this administration's nationwide vision. Its scope has expanded to encompass the entire country, with the potential to serve Southeast Asian nations in the future upon completion of its training center,” Bautista said.

On Tuesday, at least 2,867 personnel completed the basic and fundamental training courses, or 76.01 percent of O&M personnel in the railway sector. (PNA)