The first phase of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) is set to begin with pre-construction activities in Davao City, Tagum and Digos while the search for the project’s funding continues.
During a town hall meeting on the railway sector in Davao City Tuesday, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista said alternative funding sources are being sought such as official development assistance (ODA) from foreign governments and international banks.
“We decided to pursue Phase 1 of the MRP despite withdrawal of prior funding commitment from the government of China,” Bautista said.
To date, he said land acquisitions for the project are ongoing from Tagum to Digos via Davao City.
Resettlement sites have also been identified for those that will be affected by its construction.
“The Tagum train village is scheduled for turnover to its future residents in the coming months. Livelihood programs are also being prepared for affected families,” he said.
Once underway, Bautista said the Tagum-Davao-Digos line will “concretize” the master rail plan of connecting Mindanao via railway.
The MRP Phase 1 covers eight stations, spans a length of 100.2 kilometers, and has a total projected cost of PHP81.6 billion.
Once completed, it will serve 122,000 passengers daily and will reduce travel time from Tagum City to Digos City to one hour from three hours.
The entire MRP itself will span 1,544 kilometers and connect several areas in Mindanao including Davao, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Cotabato, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao and Malaybalay. By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency