Mindanao Times

NEDA Board okays 1st phase of Mindanao Railway project

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MANILA -- The National Economic and Developmen­t Authority (NEDA) Board on Friday confirmed the approval of the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment under the first phase of the Mindanao Railway Project.

According to a press release from the Department of Transporta­tion (DOTr), the NEDA Board’s confirmati­on came following prior approval from the NEDA Investment Coordinati­on Committee – Cabinet Committee for the project.

In a message sent to reporters, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the project would be funded through official developmen­t assistance (ODA) from China and was estimated to cost PHP81.69 billion.

She added that the groundbrea­king for the project would begin in the first quarter of 2020.

DOTr Assistant Secretary for Railways and Project Implementa­tion Mindanao Cluster Eymard Eje said the loan agreement for the project has yet to be signed by China as it requires a project contract agreement before a loan agreement follows.

“China ODAs are different from Japan. For Japan ODA, the loan comes first then Project Contract Agreement,” Eje said.

He added that the Department of Finance would be responsibl­e for obtaining the loan after the signing of the project contract agreement for the MRP phase one.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the project would spur economic growth in the region as he thanked the NEDA Board for the approval.

“This builds on the dream of President Rodrigo Duterte to generate developmen­t in Mindanao through an efficient rail system that will not only move people throughout the island of Mindanao but will also generate needed economic growth,” Tugade said.

The Tagum-DavaoDigos segment of the MRP, the DOTr said, aims to

establish a 74-kilometer atgrade and 26-kilometer elevated (viaduct) commuter railway from Tagum City in Davao del Norte to Digos City in Davao Del Sur—only one part of the proposed 830-kilometer MRP Loop.

The segment consists of eight stations located in Tagum, Carmen, Panabo, Mudiang, Davao, Toril, Sta. Cruz, and Digos. (PNA)

 ??  ?? THIS Chinese fast train with a top speed of over 250 kilometers per hour, which could be replicated in Mindanao, was photograph­ed at the Quanzhou Railway Station in Fujian province, People’s Republic of China on November 8, 2019. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO
THIS Chinese fast train with a top speed of over 250 kilometers per hour, which could be replicated in Mindanao, was photograph­ed at the Quanzhou Railway Station in Fujian province, People’s Republic of China on November 8, 2019. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

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