MANILA - The Department of Transportation (DOTr) warned the public on Tuesday against people and groups soliciting money that would supposedly be used to invest in the Mindanao Railway Project.
The DOTr said it does not engage or condone these activities as the railway project is being funded through official loans from China.
Some of the groups and individuals reportedly soliciting money also use the name of President Rodrigo Duterte, the DOTr said.
"We also clarify that the President does not allow his name to be mentioned in any activity to solicit/offer investments for the Mindanao Railway Project," the agency said.
The DOTr advises people who were asked to invest in the Mindanao Railway Project to report this to the agency so they can be investigated and prosecuted.
The first phase of the Mindanao railway will cost P81.7 billion and link the cities of Tagum, Davao and Digos.
It is one of the flagship infrastructure projects of the government and is expected to reduce travel time from Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to 1.3 hours
Originally costing P35.9 billion, the railway's cost more than doubled following changes in its design.
Construction was supposed to start in 2018 but design changes and right-of-way issues caused delays.
The DOTr has said that the railway will break ground in the first quarter of this year and will start operations in 2022.