Hunt on for investors to fund more rail projects
MANILA -After signing contract packages for a commuter railway linking Pampanga and Laguna, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is lining up more train projects to improve connectivity for passengers and on the hunt for potential private sector partners to implement these.
Transportation Undersecretary Reinier Yebra, in a recent event hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, said several major rail projects were undergoing feasibility studies or getting approval from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
He shared that the Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT 4) was already greenlighted by Neda. The railway project, designed to have 10 stations linking Taytay, Rizal, to the Ortigas central business district, is a 12.7-kilometer elevated railway mass-transit system.
In March, the DOTr signed an agreement with Australian rail consultancy company Ricardo Rail Australia Pty Ltd. to determine the operational and maintenance requirements for the railway project.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista previously said the railway project was expected to ease the heavy traffic along Ortigas Avenue and Mandaluyong City.
Meanwhile, Yebra said they were currently looking for private investors to develop the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP), a 1,544-kilometer train system supporting connectivity across major cities such as Davao, General Santos, Cotabato, Zamboanga and Surigao, among others.
The Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines, in February, granted funding for the feasibility study of the MRP phase 3, the northern Mindanao segment linking Cagayan de Oro to Laguindingan and Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
Other railway projects in the pipeline include Metro Rail Transit Lines 10 and 11, Light Rail Transit Line 6 in Cavite and Cebu Monorail, Yebra added.
“These projects require massive funding. We have turned to the private sector for investment collaboration,” the DOTr official said.
“On many occasions, the keen interest displayed by private investors to our projects manifest their financial viability while remaining primarily public service initiatives,” he added.