The Philippine Railway Virtual Summit I was held on 19 March and, as in 2018 and 2019, when the summit was held as an in-person event, UIC was heavily involved.
This year’s event focused on Philippine railway resilience through accelerated digitalisation, innovation and best practice on both main and urban lines. The half-day webinar was attended by more than 200 participants.
Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, and Milko Papazoff, UIC ASEAN Representative, were invited to present UIC’s Covid-19 crisis management strategy and railway recovery through cooperation on standardisation, with a focus on UIC’s role in the ASEAN region.
The event provided an opportunity to review what has happened since early 2020 and what is happening in the Philippines in terms of follow-up of main line and urban line projects (rehabilitation, line extension, new lines) and how the sector has had to adapt globally to the current pandemic.
Junn Magno, General Manager of PNR (Philippine National Railway), represented the Undersecretary for Railways of the Department of Transportation of the Republic of the Philippines (DOTr), Mr Timothy John Batan, demonstrating the latest railway sector market engagement in the Philippines in terms of projects and financing. Both PNR and DOTr Philippines are UIC members since late 2018 and early 2020, respectively.
Celeste Lauta, Acting Assistant General Manager of PNR, gave a presentation explaining how PNR is embracing the “new normal” through digitalisation.
Other presentations were also given by DOTr-MRT3 on recent line rehabilitation and new facilities in Manila, RATP Dev on the latest best practices, recovery and digitalisation, as well as several other companies (Trapeze Group, Motorola and PGA Tech Group) on current activities and involvement in the Philippines.
UIC will continue to play an active role in supporting these projects and its members in the Philippines, and will again be partnering on upcoming railway events in the Philippines in 2021 and 2022, starting with the Philippine Railway Virtual Summit II, which is due to take place in the coming months and will focus on railway asset management.