By Lorenz S. Marasigan, April 25 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

THE Philippine National Railways (PNR) will start the 150-hour run time exercise for the Hybrid Electric Train (HET), the first train developed and produced by Filipinos, on May 6.

This means that PNR riders have 19 days to enjoy the free test drive for the new train, before it is officially deployed for commercial operations.

The train will initially run the Alabang-Biñan route of the PNR.

The run is part of the guidelines of the PNR, which has the discretion to decide if it will use the train for the whole line.

Developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the HET is equipped with a CCTV system, LED TV sets and automatic sliding doors, and is fully air-conditioned.

This is part of the DOST’s thrust to help develop the country’s transport systems, according to Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.

“The problem of weak mass transport in the Philippines grows everyday as the number of passengers increases and the roads and current transport systems as we know it, remain at a halt,” he lamented.

“A solution for this problem has been in the works from one government administration to another, since the 1970s. Until now, however, we are still yet to figure out an efficient and cost-effective solution towards a more accessible and hassle-free road. We at DOST, want to be part of that solution,“ de la Peña said.

He added that his office intends to “address volume and behavior-based traffic congestion, overloading, road pollution, dependence on expensive foreign technology, insufficient mass transportation systems, limited capability to maintain existing systems, lack of local industry for mass transport, and the P3.5-billion economic loss per day due to traffic.” dela Peña cited several projects that his group has implemented to support this vision, such as the automated gateway transit, the Hybrid “Electric Train in PNR, and the hybrid electric road train in Isabela.

He added that his agency also supports new transport projects such as the Local Traffic Simulator, a microscopic traffic simulation software that is designed to be used by road and traffic engineers as a decision support system for effective traffic management.

Likewise, it has developed the Detection and Identification of Legitimate Public Utility Vehicles (Dilaw), a system made up of devices that easily determine vehicles without valid franchises.

De la Peña also cited the Contactless Apprehension of Traffic Violators on 24-hour Basis, All Vehicle Detection System (CATCH-ALL), which is a camera-based traffic management system for traffic violations detection.

On the aviation side, the Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise Inc. has developed transponders for aircraft, vessels, and vehicles for cost-effective monitoring and tracking.

“Apart from producing new systems that would add to our current lineup of mass transport technologies, we also want to ensure that each solution we offer speaks of the quality we are committed to providing to the people. Through DOST’s mass transport solutions and intelligent transport systems, we are providing the public with fast, productive, and cost-effective options,” De la Peña said.