THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) expects to complete the 30-year railway master plan by year’s end.

“We should be able to have it before the end of the year. JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) is doing it,” Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said on the sidelines of an event this week.

“We do not have (an update), because we need the whole study. It may take some time for JICA to complete,” he said.

The DoTr has said that the 30-year master plan will serve as a “springboard” for discussions in achieving sustainable operations for big ticket rail projects such as the Metro Manila Subway; North-South Commuter Railway; Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and other ongoing and upcoming rail projects.

According to JICA, the master plan will “support and expand the Philippines’ ongoing efforts to address transport infrastructure gaps and perennial commuter difficulties.”

In 2023, the Transportation department said that the JICA had committed 300 million yen to formulate the 30-year railway master plan.

The master plan also aims to bring Philippine rail lines to an international standard using Japanese technology, the DoTr said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose