The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) is looking at multilateral funding for the construction of the first intermodal transport system in the country.

Undersecretary Guiling Mamondiong said the $ 1.3 billion Mindanao Railway Project would be funded in the form of official development assistance, which carries below-market interest rates and longer maturities.

“We are looking at Export-Import Bank of Korea and Saudi Fund for Development to finance the project,” Mamondiong said.

The Transport official said the government is currently in discussion with the Saudi government to finance the project.

“We have are waiting for the approval of the feasibility study,” Mamondiong said, referring to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Mamondiong said the Mindanao rail will connect to Laguindingan Airport, and interconnect it to the largest seaport the Mindanao Container Terminal in Misamis Oriental and to be connected to bus terminal.

The project, which is a 120-kilometer stretch of railway that will pass through Cagayan de Oro to the Iligan industrial corridor covering key industrial zones Phividec Industrial Estate, Metro Iligan Regional Agri-Industrial Center, Alwana Business Park, Ayala Light Industrial Part and FCDO Business Park.

“The railway project will promote tourism, trade, accelerate agricultural growth and industrial activity in the area,” Mamondiong said.

Earlier, the agency said it will push for the creation of a trust fund to finance future mass rail projects.

The DOTC said the fund may consist of an increase in real property tax and portions of the road and sin taxes to constitute the railway trust fund.

The agency would also push for the creation of a railway regulatory board (RRB) to handle the standardization of railway fares.

It will also regulate Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), Philippine National Railways and other provincial rail services. (PNA)

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