THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) had already written to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) to revert back the Mindanao Railway to two-track electrified from the recently-approved one-track locomotive.
During the Habi at Kape press conference last Wednesday, July 11, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro said as for Mindanao Railway, the P36 billion budget intended for a one-track locomotive using diesel is already reflective in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for this year. However, the original proposal was a P85-billion two-track electrified Mindanao Railway.
“DOTr and Neda will bring it back to the original proposal soon. DOTr also had written to Neda for request of reverting to back to two-track electrified,” said Montenegro.
He added that the Road Right of Way (RRW) is currently under study especially for areas where the Mindanao Railway is planned to traverse through.
Earlier, Montegro also said the detailed engineering design for Segment 1 of the railway is ongoing while the construction is estimated to start late this year or early 2019. The first segment of the Mindanao Railway is a 100-kilometer stretch going through Davao-Digos-Tagum.
Minda Chair Abul Khayr Alonto has also already proposed to the DOTr for funding of the feasibility studies of the other 11 segments of the railway. The second segment is planned to traverse through Tagum-Butuan.
The Mindanao Railway is an entire 830-kilometer stretch targeted to link Davao, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao, and Cagayan de Oro with each other.