Russia is considering to grant development assistance for a new railway system in the northern Luzon region. This was the result of a bilateral meeting Tuesday between Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade and Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov to discuss possible areas of cooperation in rails, roads, aviation, maritime and cable car.
“The Russian assistance will commence with a grant for the preparation of a detailed feasibility study. Russia is expected to bring with it its development experience gained in the course of building its 86,000 kilometers of mainline and 60,000 kilometers of secondary railway lines,” Department of Transportation (DOTr) spokesperson Asec. Leah Quiambao said in a text message to reporters.
The proposed railway system is envisioned to run from New Clark City in Tarlac; San Fernando, La Union; to Tuguegarao in Cagayan.
Philippines and Russia have also discussed launching direct flights between Manila and Moscow.
Currently, Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Korean Air, Air China and Singapore Airlines fly between Manila and Moscow with stops in either Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing or Singapore.
Both countries will likewise explore the utilization of Global Navigation Satellite System – a space based satellite navigation system similar to GPS – for road emergency response, truck weight monitoring and air navigation applications.
On maritime transport education, Philippines and Russia will pursue the deployment of training vessels to the country and conduct learners and trainers’ exchange program between the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) and Russia’s maritime academy.