Construction of Mindanao railway system to begin in 2020

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019   •   417

Image from Department of Transportation (DOTr)

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the first phase of the Mindanao Railway System is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced Monday.

The DOTr said the bidding for the construction of the project will be held on November 2019 while the groundbreaking is scheduled early next year, citing a Facebook post of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Manny Piñol.   

Phase 1 of the Mindanao railway project covers 102 kilometers linking the Davao region through its major cities Davao City, Tagum and Digos.

It is designed to accommodate around 110,000 passengers per day in its opening year.

During a briefing last Sept. 12, Piñol asked project planners to consider the coastal areas of Surigao down to Davao Occidental and Sultan Kudarat provinces in the railway project.

These coastal regions, according to Piñol, could be transformed into major food production and tourism areas if they are connected to the railway system.

The MinDA chief said his agency will provide the project’s engineering consultants a commodity map of Mindanao to help them identify key production areas in the region.

Piñol added that the groundwork for the succeeding phases of the 1,550-kilometer railway system is also being prepared by a group of Chinese engineering consultants.

The Mindanao Railway project is seen to be completed by 2022. It is projected to increase the daily ridership of the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment to 134,060 once it becomes operational.

The railway’s first segment is also envisioned to reduce travel time from Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to 1.3 hours.

DOTr says QC-Bulacan MRT-7 project almost 50% complete

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

Commonwealth Avenue

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday reported that the construction of the Metro Rail Transit line 7 (MRT-7) is now 49.22 percent complete more than three years after construction started.

In a statement on Facebook, the DOTr said that civil works of the underground/depressed, at-grade, and elevated guideway are in various stages of construction, while civil works of nine of the 14 stations are in full swing.

Trackwork installations are also ongoing.

“Likewise, the required rolling stock of 108 cars has been completed, and are awaiting shipment pending the availability of the depot/holding area,” it added.

PROGRESS REPORT: The Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) is now 49.22% COMPLETE, as of October 2019!Based on the latest…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Sunday, 10 November 2019

The 22-kilometer MRT-7 will connect Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan.

The line is expected to reduce travel time to 35 minutes from the current 2 to 3 hours.

The project is eyed to be completed by 2021, the DOTr said.

Modern PUV units to start plying Nichols-PITX route on Nov. 11

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program has started.

In line with this, a total of 15 modern PUV units will start plying the Nichols – Magallanes – Mall of Asia – Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) route starting November 11.

The new Class 2 PUV units manifest the standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), equipped with air-conditioning units, CCTV, WiFi access, GPD and side entrance.

To comply with the environmental requirements, the modern PUV units use Euro-4 fuel.

On Thursday (November 7), Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led the turnover ceremony and inspection of the modern jeepney from engine manufacturer Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC). He was joined by Pasang Masda President Ka Obet Martin.

Tugade thanked the Pasang Masda for supporting the government’s modernization program.

“Mapapahayag ko ang aking pasasalamat sa Pasang Masda, kay Ka Obet, na winawagayway at kinakalat sa buong kapuluan ang paniniwala nila sa modernization program,” Secretary Tugade said.

For his part, Martin vowed to support the administration’s PUV modernization initiatives on the intention of providing comfort to the riding public.

 “Wala pong ibang hangarin ang ating Pangulo kundi mabigyan ng maayos na serbisyo, mabigyan ng maayos na sasakyan ang ating mga kababayan ganun din po ang panuntunan ng ating Kalihim,” Martin noted.

Meanwhile, Tugade also announced the Department’s plan to release a Class 1 PUV unit which is cheaper and with larger capacity of up to 13 passengers.

IPC President Hajime Koso, likewise, expressed confidence that their vehicles “will be able to provide a more durable, comfortable, and safe transport solution for the riding public,”

“I have always believed that the Isuzu PUVs are truly a vehicle made by the Filipinos for the Filipinos. As they say in Tagalog, ‘gawang Pilipino, para sa Pilipino,’ he said.

Secretary Tugade calls on other PUV drivers and operators to join in the government’s PUV modernization program for their benefit and the general public as well.

“Believe in the modernization program. Believe that the government will be one in you in giving the support and cooperation, so we can launch the modernization program to its really, good, ultimate culmination,” he concluded.

Local airlines offer free cargo space for Mindanao relief operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2019

Local airlines are offering free cargo space for the relief operations in Mindanao following the series of earthquakes and aftershocks that hit the region.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) announced they had an agreement with the representatives of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippine AirAsia after a meeting on November 4.

READ: DOLE raises aid to P200-M for quake-hit workers in Mindanao

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said, “Those which can avail of the free cargo include agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) already accredited with the three airlines.”

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia also committed to providing limited free transportation for relief workers or medical personnel and volunteers certified by the DSWD or DOH and endorsed by CAB.—AAC

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