/ 20 February 2022

THE PHILIPPINES and United Kingdom are expected to plant the seeds of transport continuity and growth by investing in people through education, training, and skills development partnerships in the railway and maritime fields.

Department of Transportation Secretary Art Tugade made the announcement during the ceremonial signing of the memorandum of understanding for PH-UK Education Partnerships in Transportation in Makati City.

The partnerships will be carried out by the DOTr’s Philippine Railway Institute and Maritime Industry Authority, and by the National Skills Academy for Rail and Solent University of the United Kingdom.

The signing of the MOU is a vital component of the PH-UK partnerships, formalizing the cooperation and collaboration between the two countries in terms of education and training of Filipinos in the rail and maritime sectors.

Tugade said education and skills training is important for the continuity of growth in the transportation sector in the Philippines.

“It is sweet indeed that today we gather here in order to plant the seeds for education. Why education? Because we want to have a continuity,” Tugade said.

The partnership between the PRI and the UK-NSAR aims to develop a highly skilled, competent, and world class rail workforce.

It is also geared towards efforts to further improve the country’s railway sector which is trailing behind its Asian neighbors for almost three decades.

Programs included in the MOU are railway safety, accreditation framework for the railway sector’s training providers in the Philippines, worldwide recognition, as well as the offering of rail courses and apprenticeships, among others.

Being an archipelagic country and a primary source of 30 percent of skilled seafarers in the world, Tugade stressed the partnership will also help Filipino seafarers.

“You want this to continue? You have to put technical people there. You want the advantage of seafarers to continue? You need to have education,” he said, adding the partnership between MARINA and Solent University will be a boost to the Philippine maritime sector, benefitting the Filipino seafarers.

Under the MARINA-Solent University MOU, Maritime Education and Training programs will be developed to support human resource requirements of the maritime education sector in the Philippines.

Both Secretary Tugade and Richard Graham, a member of the UK Parliament for Gloucester, and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Philippines, cited the benefits of skills training in the railway and maritime sectors.

“You are giving us the seeds so that the growth which we like to achieve in the maritime sector and the development that we like to achieve in the railway sector can continue, continue, and continue steadily so that the Philippines can grow,” Tugade pointed out.

“These twin events on both railway and maritime reflect that partnership between UK and the Philippines across many sectors. The skills, whether in maritime or rail, all these things are in transition into a new world of innovation and technology,” Graham said.