The Mindanao Railway System (MRS), now being pushed forward by Mindanao lawmakers, is seen to boost tourism in the island, and also help get the needed business investment that will subsequently spell development of the Philippines’ “land of promise.”

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said he, together with Speaker Prospero Nograles, who is from Davao City, is working for the release of another P5 million for the project to push it from the drawing board to the implementation stage.

Rodriguez, who filed House Bill 1855 in 2008 which created the Mindanao Railways Corp. (MRC), said the government had already earmarked P10 million for the office of the MRC.

“When this becomes a reality, the Mindanao Railway System will not only solve traffic congestion in the city, especially with the opening of the Laguindingan International Airport, and other urban centers of Mindanao, but  will also boost tourism and business along its route.  This will be a more efficient, cost-effective and fast mode of transportation linking all major cities and towns of Mindanao,” Rodriguez said.

The MRS has a budget of P2 billion.  Its feasibility study is nearing completion, said Department of Transportation and Communications Undersecretary for Rails Guiling Mamondiong.

Mamondiong said they are just awaiting the approval of the study by the Regional Development Council before it will be submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority in Manila.

Rodriguez said he is crossing his fingers that the MRS will come off the drawing boards for the benefit of the people of Mindanao.

He also promised to find ways to make it a reality and a success, especially since “it will be a very good complement to the about-to-be- completed Laguindingan International Airport.”


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