MANILA - Congressional committees have approved proposals to create rail and power bodies in Mindanao, the House of Representatives said Tuesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte, the first chief executive from Mindanao, assumed office last year with the promise to spread development to the countryside.
The first ever rail system in Mindanao, parts of which have been mired in decades of conflict, is part of the President's P8-trillion infrastructure plan.
A train system is the "only way for us to move forward and progress tremendously" in the south, said Bukidnon Rep. Manuel Zubiri, who authored the bill calling for the creation of a Mindanao Rail Authority.
A separate measure was passed on the committee level for the "non-privatization" of the Agus and Pulangi hydroelectric plants, according to the House statement.
The two facilities should not be left to “profit-driven private interests," said one of its proponents, Zamboanga Rep. Celso Lobregat.