Panay Island Railway System Project Revival A Potential Tourism Booster

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo - The P16-billion proposed revival of the railway system in Panay Island can boost tourism.

Captain Cesar Capellan, director of Panay Railway Inc. (PRI), reiterated potential tourism gains that the island could gain from a possible revival of the 117-kilometer railway system by a Korean firm which has expressed interest in the project. Said railway system runs from Iloilo City to Roxas City in Capiz.

Aside from catering to regular passengers and cargo, it will have tourist cabins that can offer visitors a glimpse of the countryside and coastal scenery.

Capellan said the Iloilo-Roxas line is only part of the proposed two-phase project.

The P7-billion proposed second phase will link the Roxas line to Caticlan port, which will serve as gateway to world renowned beach destination Boracay in Malay, Aklan.

Capellan said if the revival pushes through, travel and tourism can be more cost-efficient at P1.50 per kilometer and travel time will be reduced.

To recall, the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Western Visayas in 2011gave it's nod to the revival plan, but the latter was rejected by the national government.

Apparently, however, the winds have shifted where the railway system project is concerned at the current time.

PRI, a subsidiary of the Philippine Veterans Investments Development Corporation (Phividec) has earlier disclosed that the revival will be a public-private partnership (PPP) under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme.