The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has started discussing with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for funds that will be used to come up with the feasibility studies for the other segments of the Mindanao Railway System Project (MRSP).
Romeo M. Montenegro, MinDA deputy executive director, said that the discussions have focused on the other two segments as the TAgum-Davao-Digos part is expected to be completed by 2021 as the phase is expected to start within the year.
“Secretary (Abul Khayr) Alonto, (MinDA chair) said the government must pursue the phases simultaneously rather than one after the other,” said Montenegro.
The national government has been negotiating with possible Chinese lenders to fund the entire project, although nothing is definite yet even when there is an initial commitment from the Chinese government to fund the project.
Montenegro also said that the budget reenactment is not an issue because the initial funding for the first phase was already obligated and the money, although has yet to be downloaded, can immediately be accessed when there is an immediate need.
“The good thing is, this is funded by GAA, the initial funds for the phase one is always been there, it is just a matter of how fast the necessary documentations are being put together,” Montenegro said.
There were reports that some local government units in areas that the project will pass through have been hesitant to help, especially in the negotiation for the road-right-of-way because the money has not been made available to them.