PUP to offer 1st Professional Science Masters Program in Railway Eng'g Management in PH

Melanie Jimenez, News, Communication Management Office

To address the growing demand for human capacity in the railway sector, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) will offer Professional Science Master’s (PSM) Program for Railway Engineering Management—the first graduate program for Railway Engineering in the country, in partnership with the Department of Transportation -Philippine Railway Institute (DOTR-PRI).  

The PSM curriculum for railway engineering and management was conceptualized with the aid of the United States Agency International Development (USAID), through its Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) program, and other industry experts from DOTR-PRI, Philippine National Railways (PNR), Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3), and Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC). 

According to Dr. Elmer G. De Jose, Dean of PUP Graduate School, the curriculum is on its final revision process to incorporate the components suggested in the various Developing a Curriculum (DAKOM) workshops conducted by the USAID- STRIDE to ensure that the curriculum is industry-driven. Upon approval of the PUP Board of Regents and Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the program is expected to be offered at the start of the school year 2021-2022. 

In a virtual signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PUP and DOTR-PRI held on March 31, President Manuel Muhi said that with the growth initiatives of our national government for efficient transport infrastructure, a higher level and continuous development of skills and qualifications of our railway engineering practitioners is needed. 

“Through this program, we will produce generations and generations of professionals truly knowledgeable and skilled to ultimately contribute to the development of railway transport in the country and address critical issues related to our overall railway system,” stated Muhi in his commitment message. 

Atty. Timothy Batan, the DOTR Under Secretary for Railways, explained that industry partnership with higher education institutions and other stakeholders is vital for the expansion of the railway network in the country which will span from 77 kilometers to 1, 209 kilometers by 2022.  With the railway network expansion projects, DOTR also aims to address the direct economic costs of traffic congestion especially in the Greater Capital Region (GCR), which costs the country 1.3 trillion pesos each year. He added that this cost is equivalent to 1, 022, 009 classrooms, 2, 150 hospitals, 4.3 million irrigated lands, and is seven (7) percent of our total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019. 

“We have recognized and painfully learned that if we do not maintain the assets we are going to build, well it will break down.  That is the reason why we entered into partnerships with our academic partners, with CHED and with PUP, one of the pioneer partners in the academic sectors. Railways do not build themselves; we need human resources to operate and maintain them.” said Batan in his message. 

PUP has been a partner of DOTR in railway improvement initiatives since 2006 when the University also pioneered the offering of Bachelor of Railway in Engineering Management in the Philippines. 

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