An official from the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) announced that the Tagum City-Davao City-Digos City (TDD) segment of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) will be proposed to other countries following unsuccessful negotiations with China.
Asec. Romeo M. Montenegro, deputy executive director of MinDa, disclosed this during the Habi at Kape media forum at Ayala Malls Abreeza on Wednesday, December 13, 2023.
The decision to propose the TDD segment to other countries comes after failed negotiations with China, as conveyed through a letter from the Department of Finance (DOF) to the Chinese Embassy in Manila on September 22, 2023.
“This will probably be proposed to all other possible interested countries that would want to fund the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway Project,” Montenegro said.
The TDD segment will undergo reevaluation at the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) level due to the unsuccessful financial negotiations in the previous attempts.
Regarding the Cagayan de Oro to Iligan City leg of the railway project, Montenegro disclosed that the Asian Development Bank is currently conducting a study.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the MRP-TDD aims to reduce travel time from Tagum, Davao del Norte, Digos City, and Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to 1.3 hours.
The MRP-TDD represents the initial phase of the railway project, promising not only quicker transit but also safer, more convenient, and comfortable travel for passengers.
The route will feature eight stations: Tagum, Carmen, Panabo, Mudiang, Davao Terminal, Toril, and Sta. Cruz, along with Digos. A 10-hectare depot will be constructed in Tagum.
Initially, the rail route will consist of one track, with plans for additional tracks and electrification. The project includes six five-car passenger trains with diesel multiple units, four locomotives, 15 freight cars, and three spare cars.
The DOTr projects a daily ridership of 134,060 for the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment upon completion.
By 2032, they anticipate an increase to 237,023 daily riders, reaching 375,134 by 2042, according to departmental projections. RGP