MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday (October 20) signed a project management consultancy contract for the first phase of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) with China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC) and Guangzhou Wanan Construction Supervision Co. Ltd. consortium.
“With the signing of the agreement, it [Mindanao Railway Project] is about to be born, it is about to be triggered into reality. That is not the end of our commitment. It is just a small start of our commitment for the Mindanao Railway to come to reality,” said DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.
The 100-kilometer Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment is an P82 billion project that will link Davao del Norte, Davao City and Digos City with its eight stations.
“The Mindanao Railway Project, despite the many challenges in the Covid-19 pandemic, the DOTr under the leadership of Sec. Art Tugade, has been consistently pushing to realize after being just a dream for more than half a century. The Mindanao Railway system will unlock opportunities and realize the potential of the people in the land of Mindanao,” said DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy Batan.
The MRP’s first segment is designed to accommodate 122,000 passengers and will reduce travel time between Tagum and Digos from the usual three hours to just one hour.
A China-funded project, the Mindanao rail will be the first train system outside of Luzon.
“This project is an important part of the Mindanao round-the-island railway. Its planning, construction, and operation play an extremely important role in reducing travel time on the island, accelerating the flow of passengers and goods, and promoting regional economic development,” CRDC Chairman of the Board Mr. Liu Weiqun.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said that the construction of the MRP will begin in the second quarter of 2022.
The Mindanao Railway Project is expected to help improve inter-island connectivity, generate livelihood and boost the region’s economic development. AAC