The DOTr said the project is now in the stage of finalizing the design-build bidding documents. The agency is targeting to start construction of its first phase next year, and eventually complete it by 2022.
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Mindanao railway pushing through in 2019 — Tugade
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - December 30, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to start the construction of the first railway in Mindanao next year after the project failed to take off this year.

The DOTr said the project is now in the stage of finalizing the design-build bidding documents. The agency is targeting to start construction of its first phase next year, and eventually complete it by 2022.

The project in its entirety will consist of 1,532 circumferential and spur lines connecting Davao provinces, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos City, and Zamboanga.

Phase 1 of the Mindanao railway project covering the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment is a 102-kilometer rail line with eight stations and a depot in Tagum.

Construction of the project was earlier targeted to begin by the third quarter of 2018 but failed to do so as it awaited funding commitment from the Chinese government.

“The plan really is that the funding is from China,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said.

Tugade said the DOTr wants the project to be started as soon as possible.

He previously reported that bidding documents for the project has already been made, but actual bidding has been delayed due to changes he introduced.

The railway project is now being envisioned to be a two-track, electric, and standard train system, instead of a previously single-track system with diesel trains.

Tugade sees Mindanao as a key to a progressive Philippines as it is rich in economic resources.

Citing a World Bank study, Tugade said efforts to further grow the economy would be futile unless Mindanao is developed alongside the other regions.

And progress, he added, cannot be achieved without first and foremost infrastructure.

“Every nation, every country, every region that has experienced growth and development is always predicated on the kinds of plans it has on infrastructure. And therefore, we say, unequivocally, you want development, let’s have infrastructure. And therefore, we say, you want development in infrastructure, you do it also with Mindanao,” he said.

Under the Duterte administration’s ambitious Build Build Build program, the Mindanao Railway system is a key component of the infrastructure masterplan for Mindanao which also include the expansion and modernization of various airports, seaports, maritime facilities, and the region’s public transportation system.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
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