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Mindanao railway project to start in 2nd quarter of 2018


By Nonoy E. Lacson and Antonio L. Colina IV

Zamboanga City — After several feasibility studies, construction of the 830-kilometer Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) will finally begin in 2018 as it aims to enhance interconnectivity and linkages through passenger and freight railway transport development that will boost tourism, trade, and commerce in Mindanao.

House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Public Works and Highways Rep. Celso Lobregat said the government is targeting the 2nd quarter of 2018 as the commencement of the construction of the first leg of the Mindanao Railway.

Lobregat said the MRP will start off with the commuter line from Tagum City in Davao del Norte to Digos City in Davao del Sur.

The board of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) already approved the P35.26-billion Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) Phase 1 in Tagum-Davao-Digos section.

The first phase of the 830-kilometer Mindanao Railway Project loop will be implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) through local financing.

This phase involves the establishment of a 102.28-kilometer commuter railway from Tagum City in Davao del Norte to Digos in Davao del Sur.

Lobregat said that this railway project will connect key Mindanao cities including Davao, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and General Santos.

The national government has reportedly readied the P6.5-billion budget for land acquisition and engineering for the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment.

The total project cost is expected to reach P35.911 billion, of which construction cost will amount to P14.744 billion; rolling stock, P7.372 billion; land acquisition, P5.656 billion; price contingencies, P3.658 billion; physical contingencies, P2.932 billion; engineering cost, P1.106 billion and project administration, P442.3 million. Project implementation will take 59 months starting the first quarter of next year until the third quarter of 2022.

The project will involve a total of 338 hectares of right of way, of which 307 hectares will be for the main line, 11 hectares for the station yards, and 10 hectares each for the Davao terminal and the Tagum depot.

Lobregat said the proposed railway transport service will play a major role towards the improvement of Mindanao’s intra-island accessibility, linkages and seamless multimodal transport network.

Detailed Engineering

Davao City – The government is still completing the “detailed engineering” for the first phase of the Mindanao Railway System, which was earlier identified as a flagship project of the Duterte administration.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) executive deputy director Romeo Montenegro said they expect the detailed engineering of the railway system to be completed sometime within the first semester of next year.

Once completed, he said the government will then identify the contractor of the project’s first phase worth P35.257 billion that will run for 102 kilometers starting from Tagum City in Davao del Norte to Digos City in Davao del Sur via Davao City.

The “detailed engineering” specifies the areas to be acquired by the government for this project, Montenegro added.

The first segment will comprise eight stations, namely: Tagum; Carmen; Panabo; Mudiang (in Bunawan, Davao City); Davao Terminal; Toril; Sta. Cruz; and Digos. A 10-hectare depot will be built in Tagum.

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