Mindanao railway to cost $9 billion

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Jan) – The development of the 1,500-km Mindanao Railway System will cost $9 billion (around PhpP 445.3 billion), the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said.

Romero Montenegro, MinDA director for investment promotion and public affairs, said that their consultants are currently finalizing the feasibility study on the railway system that will connect key areas of the island such as Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao, General Santos, and Davao.

He said that some adjustments have been made to the MRS, specifically on the length of every phase of development. The railway is planned to have five phases.

He said that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) suggested to create a Mindanao Railway Corp., a body that will take the role as a coordinating body for the railway system.

He said that they are also finalizing the specifications of this project, particularly on the mechanism that will be followed by interested bidders for the public-private partnership (PPP).

Montenegro said that they are also scouting for areas where the route of the railway will be set up.

He said that some Japanese and Chinese investors have already expressed the willingness to bid.

The MinDA will undertake a workshop next month to complete the list of the possible projects that will be funded by the Japanese government through its Japanese International Coordinating Agency (JICA).

Davao City Planning and Development Office (DCPO) head Ivan Cortez said that a study by a group of Chinese investors on a monorail project has yet to take off by March this year

Once it pushes through, he said it will help de-clog traffic congestions in major thoroughfares in downtown Davao. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)