There’s a need to give way to attain development, an official of Department of Transportation told complaining residents of a posh housing subdivision who will be affected by the Mindanao Railway Project said.
“If we want development, we must face the sacrifices that entail the steps towards attaining that development. It is selfish to ask and enjoy the benefits of development without sacrificing a little of your own,” DOTr Assistant Secretary Eymard Eje told TIMES in a text message.
Eje gave the statement after the protesting homeowners of Monteritz Classic Estates are considering to file legal action against the construction of the Mindanao Railway Project because it will put them “along the riles” (along the rails).
The DOTr official said he is not commenting on the plan of the Monteritz Classic Estates Homeowners Association Inc., (MCEHAI) “because it is their prerogative to seek legal action.”
Jet Villamor, MCEHAI president, said the legal action is a worst-case scenario in case the DOTr does not consider realigning the railway project.
“We are still exhausting all possible avenues we have to arrange our legal action. We have several lawyers within the community and we have been talking about the possibilities, but we have not yet reach (any decision),” Villamor said.
Villamor said they are still holding on to the statement of DOTr that they will study the proposal of realigning.
The MCEHAI president maintains that although they are not against development, they are not convinced that the only option of the project is to pass through the subdivision.
“You cannot find any railway even in the first world country that traverses inside a high-end private subdivision so it is really not acceptable especially that they have other options,” said Villamor.
The DOTr confirmed that they already requested a consultant to restudy the alignment in front of Monteritz to consider the proposal of the homeowners.
“They requested us to go back to the previous alignment proposal of passing the train through the town plaza,” Eje said.
The Mindanao Railway Project is up for the approval of National Economic and Development Authority Board – Investment Coordination Committee.
The first of the three-segment Mindanao Railway Project will connect Tagum City in Davao del Norte to Digos City in Davao del Sur passing Davao City.
With a P85-billion budget, the first segment is targeted to start this year for a 2022 operation.
The 102-kilometer segment will affect at least 23 barangays and at least 10 subdivisions, said City Councilor Jesus Joseph Zozobrado, chair of the city council’s committee on public works and highways.