The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has yet to submit the revised program for the proposed first segment of the Mindanao Railway System, the 102-kilometer Tagum-Davao-Digos section of the project, a top government official in the Davao Region said last week.
Maria Lourdes Lim, regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) XI, said the agency has yet to submit the complete cost analysis of the project after its proponents submitted proposed changes from one-track locomotive system to a two-track electricity-run system.
The changes were part of the submitted for review to the NEDA Board-Investment Coordinating Committee, the agency that is to approve the implementation of the project.
“These changes necessarily require another NEDA board approval with the estimated project cost that has increased from P35.25 billion to P97 billion and that is just for the TTD segment,” Lim said.
Lim said among the proposed changes is the inclusion of another depot in the city, aside from the one that is planned in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Based on the initial timetable of the government, the NEDA Board was supposed to approve the changes by last quarter of last year so that the project can start in the first quarter of this year.
In the presentation of the NEDA, it pointed out that the DOTr has signed a memorandum of agreement with local government units along the first segment, the cities of Tagum, Panabo, Davao and Digos and the towns of Carmen in Davao del Norte and Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur.
The signing of the agreement will signal the transfer of funds intended for the right-of-way acquisitions for the properties along the project.
During their meeting last December, the request to increase project cost and changes in project scope was deferred by the NEDA Board – Investment Coordinating Committee (ICC).
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