Vol. XXII, No. 46 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Monday, September 29, 2008 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES
THE ADMINISTRATION is finalizing plans for the construction of the long-delayed Mindanao Railway System project, which is expected to spur economic development in the conflict-stricken region.
Speaker Prospero C. Nograles said in a statement on Saturday that "the blueprint of a modern Mindanao Railway System is now taking shape."
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in late June formed the Mindanao Railways Project Policy and Coordinating Committee composed of Transportation Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr. and Budget Secretary Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. as members, while Mr. Nograles is the group’s adviser.
Mr. Nograles said the committee has until Dec. 1 to submit its comprehensive report and recommendations to Malacañang.
Mr. Nograles said the rail system will be "an efficient, cheap and reliable railway network crisscrossing the length and breathe of the island, [and] will surely spur productivity, allow the establishment of industries and create tens of thousands of jobs, and catalyze the inflow of foreign investments."
The committee will advise the Office of the President on prioritization/schedule of implementation of the various railway lines in the South; will serve as the coordinating issue-resolution body; and will prepare a development plan to the President for approval not later than Dec. 1.
It was also tasked to identify and recommend modes and sources of financing for the project.
The projected cost of the project was not mentioned. — Paolo Luis G. Montecillo