The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) fully supports the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Philippine Railway Institute (PRI) by providing incentives for continuing education for the personnel that will run the railway sector and developing university-university linkages in railway research and development.
CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III recently sat down with DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and officials of the PRI at the Crowne Plaza, Ortigas, Pasig City to discuss how the Commission can be part of the Expanded Scope of the DOTr PRI which now includes Sustainable Railway Development, Regulatory and Management Regimes and Trusted Operator and Sound Environment.
The PRI was created by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte under Executive Order No. 96 to serve as a research and training center under the DOTr. This is in response to the urgent need to develop the human resource capacities of railway personnel to ensure their availability and competence and guarantee their compliance with generally accepted standards of practice, as well as the rules and regulations pertaining to the safety, operation, and maintenance of railways. The PRI will handle the planning, implementation, and regulation of development efforts for personnel in the railway sector.
Based on the inter-agency discussions, CHED support will focus on the following areas:
Developing a system of credits in order that the certification trainings of PRI can be converted into academic units that can be used in graduate studies and continuing professional education;
Reviewing the content and outcomes contained in the PRI certificate program and imbedding these into the existing engineering curricula and/or elective subjects in order for students to learn about railways engineering while they are at the university level;
Mobilizing top engineering higher education institutions (HEIs) colleges and universities to provide experts who can act as trainers in the PRI certificate program and developing university-to-university linkages between Philippine and Japanese universities for joint research and development projects on railway development.
“CHED would like to thank DOTr Secretary Art Tugade for his leadership in establishing the DOTr PRI and for inviting CHED to be part of this initiative to develop the manpower needed in running our railway system. More importantly, the Commission lauds the initiative of Secretary Tugade in expanding the scope of PRI’s work to include research and development so that top Philippine universities can link with Japanese universities to do researches that will address problems in railway development,” De Vera said.
According to De Vera, CHED will make sure that PRI will be able to harness the expertise of top HEIs, such as the University of the Philippines, Mindanao State University, Batangas State University, Mapua University, and the Technological Institute of the Philippines in the development of railway personnel capability and in research and development.
The meeting is a third of a series of coordination meetings between the DOTr and officials from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Embassy of Japan and the Philippine National Railways (PNR). JICA is the funding partner of DOTr and provider of technical assistance in the establishment of the PRI.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education