from BusinessWeek Mindanao

Representative Rufus B. Rodriguez of the second district of Cagayan de Oro City foresees the start of the infrastructure phase of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) by year 2011.

Speaking during the MRP Presentation to Key Political Leaders and Media last Monday, Rodriguez said he expects the approval of the MRP full scale feasibility study (FS) by the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) before the year ends.

ICC is one division of NEDA, tasked with recommending to the President the implementation timetable of major capital projects (MCPs) and programs on a regular basis after reviewing the fiscal, monetary and BOP implications of such projects.

Rodriguez recalled that the MRP was ‘germinated’ by then representative and now City Mayor Constantino Jaraula of Cagayan de Oro.

Rodriguez contended that MRP should now be put in place, as “there are so many railway projects now obtaining in Manila and the rest of Luzon, but not even a single inch in Mindanao.”

The full scale FS, which is now up for deliberation at NEDA-ICC, was formulated and completed recently by the consultants of TCGI Engineers, DMI Management and Engineering Consultants and the Woodfields Consultants, Incorporated. The FS results were presented by TCGI Vice President and Project Director Bernardo N. Buenaventura and Assistant Project Manager Alberto C. Cañete.

MRP will set up 22 stations between Jasaan, Misamis Oriental and Linamon, Lanao del Norte, utilizing the state of-the-art Diesel-Electric Multiple Units (DMUs), which are of European and American standards.

The six-car units, with individual capacities of 400 passengers, will cruise at the speed of 160 kilometers per hour.

Meanwhile, DOTC Undersecretary Guiling A. Mamondiong disclosed that MRP will have for its implementation phase the needed funds from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at a very minimal interest of two percent.

MRP will also have such other components as 124-kilometer mainline track; three depots; 81 bridges; three-kilometer tunnel; 24 trains; rail systems; signaling and telecommunications; and 30-meter wide road-right-of-way. The MRP Management Office at National Highway, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City is headed by Regional Director Sultan Mandangan Darimbang of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 10.

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