THE construction of the first phase of the 830-milometer Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) will start next year.

The MRP is one of the big ticket infrastructure projects and campaign promise of President Rodrigo Duterte.

First district Representative Celso Lobregat said

the board of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has already approved the P35.26-billion Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) Phase 1.

Lobregat, who is the chairperson of the House Committee on Public Works and Highways, said the first phase will cover 102.28-milometer from Tagum City in Davao del Norte to Digos City in Davao del Sur.

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

He said the national government is eyeing to commence the construction of Mindanao’s railway first phase by the second quarter of 2018.

He said the project, once completed, will enhanced inter-connectivity and linkages and will boost tourism, trade and commerce here in Mindanao.

The MRP it will connect key Mindanao cities such as Davao, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and General Santos. - Bong Garcia