By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Philippine National Railways (PNR) yesterday signed a P485.3-million contract for the purchase of two trainsets from PT. Industri Kereta Api (PT INKA), an Indonesian state-owned firm.
For the first time in 40 years, PNR procured its trains. Until now, most of the PNR’s fleet is composed of donated cars or parts of national loan packages.
To date, PNR has a total of 21 train sets. “We are running with 6 sets active. We should have 10 sets by first week of February,” according to General Manager Junn B. Magno.
“I hope this will grow into other projects to expand the country’s railway system from 77 kilometers today to 1,900 kilometers at the end of President Duterte’s term,” according to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.
The two new Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DMU) trains are part of the PNR’s reliability and availability program.
PNR expects the DMU trains to be delivered in the Philippines on the third Quarter of 2019 for commissioning and testing.
The 2015 DOTr-GAA funds are financing the project, which has undergone public bidding in compliance with Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement and Reform Act.