A FEASIBILITY study for the construction of the ambitious P2-billion Mindanao railways project is nearing completion. DOTC Undersecretary for Rails and Special Action Officer of the Mindanao Railway Project Guiling Mamondiong made the statement during a briefing with local officials Monday on the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan-Corridor (CIC) railway project last Monday, November 23.
He said the feasibility study which officially started two years ago cost P51 million after Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro City, filed a resolution creating the Mindanao Railway Corp. in 2008.
The railway’s feasibility studies would cover some 124-kilometers from Cagayan de Oro City to Iligan City with 22 railway stations along the way.
Mamondiong said the first phase of the project would be from Jasaan in the eastern coast of Misamis Oriental toward the province’s west coast of Laguindingan where a newly constructed airport is expected to be operational in 2012.
According to Mamondiong, the government has already allocated some P100 million for payment and expropriation of “right of way” where the railway is expected to pass through.
He said expropriation proceedings, in cooperation with local government units, where the proposed railway is going to pass, would commence soon, This would be undertaken by the railway management office in Cagayan de Oro City.
Present during the briefing were Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez, Mayor Constantino Jaraula and some municipal mayors whose areas will be covered by the railway system.
Both Rodriguez and Jaraula has vowed to find ways for the success of the Mindanao Railway System project which will link the city Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, site of the nearly completed international standard airport.
Rodriguez said the planned mass transit system will be a more efficient mode of transportation to and from Laguindingan and will solve not only traffic congestion but will also boost tourism and business along its route.
For his part, Jaraula said the Mindanao Railway System project is expected to spur economic development in the region saying the project will pave way for an efficient, cheap and reliable railway network, which will criss cross the length and breathe of the island.
The railway system is also expected to spur productivity as well as lure in additional investments, Jaraula said.
from Cris Diaz of Gold Star Daily and Annabelle Ricalde of Sun Star CDO