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DOTr should handle MRP, Minda told

An official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) maintains that the department should handle the implementation of the billions-worth Mindanao Railway Project.

DOTr assistant Secretary Eymard Eje said the agency must handle the 1,550-kilometer project, which is among the 12 catalytic programs identified in Mindanao, despite issues that higher officials derail this.

“This project involves transportation. From the very name of our department, our mandate is transportation,” DOTr Assistant Secretary Eymard Eje told reporters yesterday at Sangguniang Panglungsod session hall.

Additionally, in the previous weeks, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto also suggested for an expanded jurisdiction of the railway project, from mere administrative to implementation authority.

Alonto expressed that he is ‘not happy’ with the slow pace of the project.

Alonto emphasized that with MinDA being the only national institute based in Mindanao, and having its manpower based also in the island, there will be a more accessible and efficient project implementation.

“With, due respect to Sec. Alonto, this project shall be led by the department of transportation,” Eje however replied.

The said project is eyed to be completed by 2021.

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