The feasibility study for the proposed 2,000-kilometer Mindanao Railway project is now completed.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Maria Lourdes Lim said during a press conference at Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City that the project feasibility study is now completed and slated to be presented to NEDA Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) in the third quarter of this year.
The 2,000-km railway will connect Mindanao cities like Davao, General Santos, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, and Malaybalay.
NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia said after the ICC looked into the project’s cost, social benefits, and return of investment it will then be forwarded to the Cabinet-level ICC, then to NEDA board.
“It’s likely to get started in terms of implementation this year because that is going to be an iconic project, a major project, and of course close to the heart of the President. So we need to get that started this year,” Pernia said in February.
Pernia also said that Malaysia, Japan, and China are interested to build the railway system. Official Development Assistance (ODA), loans from multilateral banks, Public-Private Partnership (PPP), and co-financining are possible source of funding.
Mindanao railway system is one of the four major railway systems President Duterte vowed to build. The other three lines are Manila-Nueva Vizcaya, Manila-Sorsogon, and Manila-Batangas. He previously said these projects will be owned by the Philippine government because he wants things done fast, as projects under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) would be contentious.