The construction of Mindanao Railway System will start in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Eymard Eje, DOTr assistant secretary for railways and Mindanao projects, said bidding for the construction of Mindanao railway project Phase 1 will be conducted in November with the groundbreaking scheduled early next year.
DOTr said a group of Chinese engineering consultants is preparing the groundwork for the succeeding phases of the railway system.
Phase 1 of the Mindanao railway project is a 102-kilometer rail line that will link the Davao region through Tagum, Davao City, and Digos. It is designed to accommodate around 110,000 passengers per day in its opening year.
Phase 1 will have eight stations: Tagum, Carmen, Panabo, Mudiang, Davao Terminal, Toril, Sta. Cruz and Digos. This will reduce travel time from Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to one hour and 20 minutes.
The entire Mindanao Railway System will run for a total of 1,532 kms. connecting Davao provinces, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and Zamboanga.
The government is also pushing for implementation of Mindanao Road Development Network program with total investment of P149.08 billion.
The projects aims to improve the logistics network in growth corridors and conflict-affected areas in Mindanao through the construction and improvement of a road network spanning 2,847 kms. road network.