Mindanao railway construction to start next year; no plans yet for Visayas

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2016 07:37 PM

MANILA - Government has no plans yet to build a railway system in the Visayas region as construction on the proposed Mindanao railway is expected to start next year.

Socioeconomic Undersecretary Rody Tungpalan on Friday said what they are looking at for the Visayas is the revival of the Panay Island railways and improved inter-island connectivity through bridges.

Tungpalan said efforts will focus on the proposed Mindanao railway project, which will be divided into two phases.

The first phase is the Mindanao island line while the second extends the line to the Zamboanga peninsula. 

Government aims to complete a feasibility study and get NEDA approval by this year, and have a detailed engineering plan by 2017. Construction is expected to take five years.

Tungpalan said the first segment will likely be operational before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends. All other segments can be constructed simultaneously. 

He said the project, which has no price tag yet, could be one of the most iconic programs of the Duterte administration.