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ROUGH CUTS | Mindanao Railway: Not in our lifetime

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) is bullish about the realization of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP)

We were still in our early years as a grandfather when we first heard of some local and national government officials saying that they were bullish on such an ambitious infrastructure project that is expected to bring the entire Mindanao into an era of affordable and easy public transportation.

Now our eldest grandson is 18 years old and the officials are still talking of their bullishness of the Mindanao Railway Project. From where we are perched we clearly see that it is not the bull that is keeping the push of the project. What we are seeing is the haunting shadow of a sleeping bear right on the railway project track.

Of course, knowing the way the government implements big-ticket projects with hardly any money for its immediate disposal people in Mindanao can still continue to have their hopes burning. But it has to be admitted that the biggest stumbling blocks to the project realization are finding a new source of money to fund the MRP, and negotiating for the acquisition of right-of-way without so much bloating of the total project cost.

It can be recalled that the project was expected to be started during the term of Davaoeno President Rodrigo R. Duterte. The funding was supposed to be provided through a loan from the government of China.

However, the failure of the then government to fix the right-of-way issues also stalled the funding negotiation until the West Philippine Sea row between the Philippines and China heated up.

That was when the bull started to slow down and eventually rested. And apparently reevaluating the project in terms of its cost and alignment will take years to do. Perhaps it could not be completed under the present administration.

If at all, the railway project will be pursued we will not anymore be around to witness its operation. There is even the possibility that our grandchildren will already become grandparents by then too.

And who knows, the government’s search for the project’s right-of-way, may even end up leading it to a stretch passing on top of our grave.


What happens to the case of the lady house help who was reported missing by her parents after she was sent home by her employer in the early hours of dawn?  

The house help from Monkayo, Davao de Oro was employed in the household of a police official then assigned at the Toril Police Station.

When the house help’s parents brought the case to the open the police through its Davao City Director Col. Alberto Lupaz, conducted an investigation on the matter.

Meanwhile, the police officer was pulled out of his command and supposedly confined at the Regional Police Office pending the probe. However, it’s been months already and the police task force assigned to undertake the investigation of one of their own, has not come up with any status report of its probe.

It is quite intriguing for such a case involving a suspect a ranking police official when the public is kept in the dark.

We wonder if some of our bright legislators can come up with a bill in Congress that will lead to the creation of a law making it mandatory for the Prosecution office and the Courts to regularly render status reports of cases that are of major public interest as may be defined in the statute.

That could be one way of giving life to the government’s commitment to transparency in all its undertakings.


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