DAVAO CITY - The construction of Mindanao Railway Project will be delayed because of the problems in the road right of way, the Department of Transportation said Friday.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, however, assured the agency is still on track with the schedule.
Consultations of DOTr with developers and some residents in Davao region continue, he said.
Transportation Asec. Eymard Eje said they are planning to schedule the groundbreaking ceremony of the project in the 4th quarter of this year.
“May timeline kami, the generic timeline is we would have partial operability before the end of the term of [President Rodrigo] Duterte. There is a reality na may delayed ng konti. Nire-recognize natin yung delay na konti. Meron ka ring programa to fast track para yung deadline mo can still be alive and can be met.
Tugade said another cause of delay was the different track system that the previous leadership had proposed.
“Yung nakaraang pamunuan na involved sa Mindanao rail, gusto nila single-track. Ang gusto nila yung tren is diesel ang gusto nila part of the track is narrow," he said.
"Ang sa akin ho lahat ng tracks na ilalagay mo sa Mindanao kapareha nung tracks sa Luzon. Kailangan hindi diesel kelangan electrified. Sa pagbabagong ito may kadahilanan na tumaas yung cost. Habulin na natin yung cost na hangga’t meron tayong pangulo na may political will."
--Report from Vina Araneta-Pilapil, ABS-CBN News