Tugade eyes award of Mindanao railway system by end 2017
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Friday said the department is eyeing to award the contract for the 2,000-kilometer Mindanao railway project before the end of 2017.
During the appropriations committee hearing over the proposed P55.478-billion budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) at the House of Representatives, Tugado said the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) has vowed to fast-track the Mindanao railway system which was tagged as a priority project.
“The presentations with Neda [have] started. This has been placed on a fast track. The priority plans, the design, the destination and the origin are being laid out now,” Tugade said.
“Once that is in place, hopefully we are targeting—it looks before the end of next year, the award and the plan and the study,” he added.
The construction of a railway system that would connect the whole island of Mindanao is aligned with the administration’s promise of improving infrastructure in Mindanao, where President Rodrigo Duterte was the longtime mayor of Davao City.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said China, Japan and Korea were interested in financing the project. He said the Japanese government was interested in financing it through official development assistance (ODA).
Pernia, the Director-General of Neda, said at least four local groups were also interested in the project—Ayala Corp., Megawide Construction Corp., Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and San Miguel Corp.
The Mindanao rail project was envisioned to link Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Zamboanga City, Butuan, Surigao, Davao and General Santos. RAM/rga
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