July 08, 2017

DOTr to start construction for Mindanao rail in 2018

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    Things are finally getting in gear as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) plans to start construction of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) by the second quarter of 2018.

    ANNOUNCEMENT MADE. DOTr Undersecretary Cesar Chavez made the announcement during a conference held last Monday, July 3./IMAGE DOTr

    DOTr Undersecretary for Rail Cesar Chavez said on Monday that the department has set aside Php 6.5 billion to acquire land properties and right of way for MRP Phase 1, which covers the cities of Tagum, Davao, and Digos.

    MRP Phase 1 covers 102 kilometers and will have eight stations: Tagum, Carmen, Panabo, Mudiang, Davao Terminal, Toril, Sta. Cruz, and Digos. The Php 35.26-billion needed for the project will be sourced locally.

    “Between now and December, we are organizing the project management office. Former President Arroyo created it during her time for the Mindanao Railway and Davao and Cebu. We want to unbundle that and we are doing that right now,” Chavez said.

    The project, first conceived in 1992, has seen four presidents either hold back or discontinue the project. Former President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo created the Mindanao Railway Project Office while she was president, but the office was abolished when Aquino took over.

    PHILIPPINE RAILWAY INSTITUTE. DOTr Secretary Tugade is planning on putting up a railway institute to train the staff of public railways./IMAGE DOTr

    Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, on the other hand, said the government wants to create a Philippine Railway Institute, which will serve as a training center for the staff of all public railways.

    He said the department is in talks with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to put up the institute. “We are now trying to formulate the curriculum as we are trying to formulate the structures that will be in that institute,” he said.

    Sources: Rappler, Manila Bulletin, Malaya Business Insight
    Photos: Department of Transportation – DOTr Philippines

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