Mindanao Railway Opens in 2013

A RAILWAY connecting Cagayan de Oro to Laguindingan town in Misamis Oriental will likely be operational in 2013, an official of the Mindanao Railway Project Office (MRPO) said.

Engr. Salic Darimbang of the MRPO said the government is just waiting to complete the financial requirement of the project next year to fund the construction of the phase I-segment I railway and establish a link between Cagayan de Oro and Laguindingan.

Darimbang said Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Commission (LTFRB)-Northern Mindanao Regional Director and concurrent MRPO head Mandangan Darimbang is scheduled to fly to Manila next year to follow up on the budgetary needs of the project.

The MRPO official said Railway Undersecretary Glicerio Sicat has already directed Darimbang to meet with him in Manila on February 2011 purposely to have an update on the partnership between China, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines under the official development assistance (ODA) fund for the $1.33 billion railway project linking Jasaan town in Misamis Oriental to Linamon in Lanao del Norte.

He said China and Saudi Arabia vowed to contribute at least $985 million and $300 million, respectively, to finance the project.

The Philippines will have its counterpart on the remaining amount, which the Railway department is keen to acquire before 2011 ends.

However, Darimbang expressed apprehension in meeting the target completion by 2013 because of the change of administration as the government is still inspecting the prepared plans of the previous administration for the Mindanao region.

"Mukha'ng hindi makuha ang target dahil siyempre change of administration," he said, but did not anymore elaborate.

Phase I-segment I railway is part of the 124-kilometer rail project in Mindanao. (Loui S. Maliza)

Source: Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro