Gov’t sets aside P27.72B in 2018 budget for rail projects
The government has set aside P27.72 billion of the proposed 2018 budget to upgrade the country’s rail infrastructure – with P6.58 billion of the amount allotted to jumpstart Phase 1 of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP).
The eight-station, 105-kilometer line will link the cities of Tagum, Davao, and Digos.
Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, a member of the House appropriations and transportation committee, issued a statement on Sunday welcoming the development.
“What is important is that the project is finally taking off, and not just being kicked around anymore,” Pimentel said.
He described the MRP as “an enormous project that will require a lot of incremental funding and take several years to complete by phases.”
Phase 1 alone will cost P36 billion to construct.
The Deparment of Transportation aims to begin operations of the line in 2022.
“There’s no question the railway will ease considerably the transfer of people and goods, and propel in a big way Mindanao’s overall social and economic development,” Pimentel said.
The MRP is only one of the various projects under the Railway Construction, Rehabilitation and Improvement Sub-program of the government, which has a total proposed appropriation of P20.21 billion.
Following are some of the other projects and their costs:
- North-South Railway Project Phase II, connecting Tutuban, Calamba City, Batangas, Legazpi City, and Matnog: P7.08 billion
- North-South Commuter Railway Project, connecting Tutuban to Malolos City: P2.5 billion
- Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension: P1.33 billion
- LRT Line 1 North Extension Common Station: P1.2 billion
- LRT Line 2 East Extension: P895.33 million
- LRT Line 2 West Extension: P608-million
Another P7.51 billion is set to be allocated to the separate Metro Rail Transit Sub-Program, consisting of its operation and maintenance, and rehabilitation and capacity expansion. /atm
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