Panay Railways, a state-owned transportation company based on the island of Panay in the Philippines, has received interest from ten foreign investors for the revival of its railway system. The investors, who come from Turkey, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, England, and China, are set to meet with Panay Railways officials and Mayor Jerry P. Treñas on January 15th to discuss the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining the responsibilities of both parties. If an MOU is signed, a feasibility study may be conducted and the results will be forwarded to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 6 for further viability study.
According to Cesar Capellan, Chief Operations Officer of Panay Railways, the revival of the railway system will likely be completed through a public-private partnership (PPP) using the build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) scheme. Under this scheme, the investor will be given 25 to 50 years to operate the railways and will be responsible for the construction and maintenance of the facility. The revival of Panay Railways is estimated to cost around $1.5 billion for Phase 1, which covers 117 kilometers of railway tracks from Iloilo City to Roxas City and includes civil works, locomotives, human resources, and relocations. Phase 2 will see the construction of new railway routes from Roxas City to Kalibo, Aklan and Caticlan in Malay, Aklan. Phase 3 will cover the new railway route from Caticlan, Malay, Aklan to San Jose, Antique, and Phase 4 will cover the new route from San Jose, Antique to Iloilo City via the towns of San Joaquin and Miag-ao in Iloilo province.
The Panay Railways system originally operated from 1907 until 1983, when it ceased operations due to mounting losses. The revived railway system is expected to improve transportation options for locals and tourists and create new job opportunities in the region