Philippines planning agency approves three railway projects


The Government of Philippines' cabinet-level agency National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board's Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) has approved Mindanao Railway Project's (MRP) Tagum-Davao-Digos (MRP-TDD) segment and two Department of Transportation (DOTr) rail projects.

ICC has also advised DOTr to coordinate with the NEDA Secretariat to accomplish its approval requisites.

MRP-TDD is expected to provide an efficient and reliable transportation upon completion, which would facilitate tourism, industry and overall economic development in the Davao Region area.

The project represents the first phase of the proposed 830km MRP loop, involving a 102.28km commuter railway that is set to operate from Tagum City to Davao City.

The projected cost of the development is PHP35.26bn ($710m), which will be locally financed.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year and is expected to be finished by the third quarter of 2022.

ICC has also approved the North South Railway Projects (NSRP) – South Line to revive the Philippine National Railways (PNR) south railway.

"MRP-TDD is expected to provide an efficient and reliable transportation upon completion, which would facilitate tourism, industry and overall economic development in the Davao Region area."

The project will cost nearly PHP285bn ($5.75bn), which will be financed through Official Development Assistance (ODA).

NSRP-South Line will have three tracks that will run from Tutuban to Los Baños and Los Baños to Sorsogon for the long haul (581km), and will terminate at Port of Manila.

The Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP) has an estimated cost of PHP211.43bn ($4.27bn) and will connect with the ongoing Tutuban-Malolos portion of the North South Commuter Railway.

MCRP will operate from Malolos, Bulacan, to Clark International Airport (Phase I), and from Clark International Airport to Clark Green City (Phase II).

ODA will also finance this project, while operations and maintenance will be conducted through a public-private partnership (PPP).

Phase I construction is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2019 and is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2022.

It is reported that Phase II will start shortly after and continue into 2024.