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DOTr: JICA pledges ¥300M to craft PH’s 30-year rail masterplan

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has committed ¥300 million for the creation of a 30-year railway masterplan for the Philippines' greater capital region.

In a statement, the DOTr said JICA pledged the amount, equivalent to around P125.68 million, for the formulation of the 30-year plan which would span about 36 months.

The plan is targeted to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2026.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the plan, to be formulated by the Philippine government with technical cooperation from JICA, “would certainly enable us to build more than just a thousand kilometers of rails.”

“This time, our railway personnel will have to adapt to new technologies and modern equipment. No one else can lead this railway renaissance,” Bautista said.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Cesar Chavez said the 30-year plan “will transcend five presidencies, and I am sure that it will contain a blueprint so viable, and a vision so compelling that succeeding administrations  will have no choice but to follow it.”

"With 150 years experience in rail development, with 30,000 kilometers of rail, with 25 billion riders a year, there are no better senseis than these kind, compassionate, generous, hardworking and honest people,” said Chavez.

The DOTr rails official said he is “confident that the masterplan that will be drafted will not end up in some dusty archives, but will be a living document.”

The master plan aims to rapidly expand the railway infrastructure network and sustainable urban development, increase rail passenger trips, and double the average distance of all trips within one hour during peak hour by 2055.

The plan also aims to enhance the learning and planning capabilities of the DOTr through technology and knowledge transfer from JICA, the department said.

The Transportation Department said the plan is also expected to strengthen the agency’s institutional capacity —increasing knowledge of staff in transportation planning, project development and proficiency in industry-leading transportation planning software.—LDF, GMA Integrated News