DoTR: 1st segment of MRS completed in 2021

THE NATIONAL government is expecting to complete the first segment of the Mindanao Railway System (MRS) by 2021.

In a statement, the Department of Transportation (DoTR) said the first phase of the project, which will be started by the third quarter of this year, will be operational by the second quarter of 2021.

The segment is the Tagum-Davao-Digos portion which has an initial budget of P6.58 billion.

According to DOTr, the first segement is a “105-kilometer line that is expected to reduce travel time from Davao del Norte to Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to just 1.3 hours. It will have eight stations: Tagum, Carmen, Panabo, Mudiang, Davao Terminal, Toril, Sta. Cruz, and Digos.”

The project, the DOTr said, is the first rail system outside Luzon. The entire project would connect Davao up to the cities of Cagayan, Iligan, General Santos and Zamboanga.

At present, Congress is reviewing the plan to put the Mindanao Railways Corporation Board that would operate the railway system in the island.

Based on the proposal as approved in the committee level, the board will include the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). This was approved by the House Committees on Transportation and Government Enterprises and Privatization.

“If enacted through legislation, MinDA’s inclusion in the board of directors puts premium in situating the proposed integrated and coordinated transport network and its future expansion along planned development direction for Mindanao,” MinDA said in a statement.

The railway system is among their priority projects under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte for easy access to and from other parts of the island.

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