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“Oro is a big part of the Mindanao Railway Project,” says Mayor Uy

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy announced in his radio program that the city is a priority in Phase 3 of the long overdue Mindanao Railway Project.

The mayor, in his radio program ‘Ang Inyong Alagad: Mayor Klarex Uy,’ said this week officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTR) visited here alongside with the prospective funding partner and they personally saw the potential of the city.

‘I expected a return visit by officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTR) last June and I created a technical working committee for this purpose but it was only this week that they visited along with the prospective funding partner,’ Mayor Uy said in the city’s official gazette.

He said the DOTR confirmed that Cagayan de Oro City will be prioritized in Phase 3 of the Mindanao Railway Project because they saw the city’s huge potential to draw commuters from Misamis Oriental.

The comprehensive three-phase Mindanao Rail Project (MRP) encompasses a network spanning 1,530 kilometers, including circumferential and spur rail lines connecting various regions in Mindanao, such as the Davao provinces, Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, General Santos City, and Zamboanga.

Initiating with Phase 1, the MRP’s Tagum-Davao-Digos segment covers a 105-kilometer rail line poised to significantly reduce travel time from Davao del Norte to Davao del Sur, slashing it from 3.5 hours to a mere 1.3 hours. This segment will feature eight stations: Tagum, Carmen, Panabo, Mudiang, Davao Terminal, Toril, Sta. Cruz, and Digos. Additionally, a 10-hectare depot is slated for construction in Tagum City.

Highlighting his commitment, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, in his inaugural State of the Nation Address on July 25, 2022, affirmed his dedication to the continued implementation of the MRP throughout his administration.

“Mayor Klarex, speaking in Visayan, emphasized that the construction focus would be on the Cagayan de Oro-Laguindingan and Cagayan de Oro-Villanueva routes for the Mindanao Railway Project. He highlighted the project’s alignment with his administration’s ‘smart metropolization’ initiatives for Cagayan de Oro City.

The Mindanao Railway Project stands as a flagship initiative within the national government’s ‘Build Better’ program and the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028. In a statement, Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) chief Engr. Nonito Oclarit revealed that the technical committee, appointed by Mayor Klarex, will review the technical plans encompassing the Villanueva to Laguindingan routes of the Mindanao Railway Project.

Cagayan de Oro City is designated as the primary station for the Villanueva-Laguindingan route of the railway project. Beyond this undertaking, the technical committee has been assigned to evaluate the feasibility of the Metro CDO Light Railway Transit project.

Both Engr. Oclarit and Mayor Klarex expressed their belief that these two transportation projects would emerge as pivotal drivers for the city’s transportation and economic landscape, attracting commuters from across Misamis Oriental province to Cagayan de Oro City.

MRP CAN BOOST MINDANAO’S ECONOMIC POTENTIAL

In the heart of the Philippines lies Mindanao, a region blessed with rich cultural diversity, natural beauty, and economic potential. Recognizing the need for enhanced transportation infrastructure to unlock the full potential of this vibrant region, the Mindanao Railway Project was inaugurated a year ago. Since its inception, the project has been a beacon of hope for improved connectivity, economic growth, and social development in Mindanao.

Background:

Mindanao has long grappled with transportation challenges that hindered its economic progress. The diverse landscape and scattered urban centers made it difficult for residents and businesses to connect efficiently. Recognizing this, the Philippine government initiated the Mindanao Railway Project, envisioning it as a catalyst for economic development and a symbol of unity for the region.

Project Scope:

The Mindanao Railway Project is an ambitious undertaking designed to create a comprehensive railway network spanning approximately 1,550 kilometers across the region. Divided into multiple phases, the project aims to connect key cities and provinces, facilitating the movement of goods and people. The railway is expected to play a pivotal role in reducing transportation costs, promoting trade, and stimulating economic activities in Mindanao.

Economic Impact:

One of the primary objectives of the Mindanao Railway Project is to stimulate economic growth by improving connectivity. The efficient movement of goods and people is crucial for businesses to thrive, and the railway is set to become a lifeline for industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. By reducing transportation costs and time, the project is expected to attract investments, create job opportunities, and boost the overall economic landscape of Mindanao.

Social Connectivity:

Beyond its economic implications, the Mindanao Railway Project is a testament to the government’s commitment to fostering social connectivity. The railway will connect rural and urban areas, enabling residents to access education, healthcare, and employment opportunities more easily. As remote communities become more accessible, the project is poised to bridge the gap between different cultures and create a more integrated and inclusive Mindanao.

Environmental Considerations:

In its commitment to sustainable development, the Mindanao Railway Project incorporates environmentally friendly practices. The use of modern, energy-efficient trains and the implementation of eco-friendly construction methods underscore the government’s dedication to minimizing the project’s environmental impact. This approach ensures that the benefits of enhanced connectivity do not come at the expense of the region’s natural beauty and ecological balance.

Challenges and Achievements:

While the Mindanao Railway Project has made significant strides in its first year, challenges remain. Land acquisition, regulatory hurdles, and funding constraints have posed obstacles to the project’s seamless execution. However, the government’s resolve, coupled with collaborative efforts from stakeholders, has allowed the project to overcome many obstacles and mark notable achievements.

Looking Ahead:

As the Mindanao Railway Project celebrates its first year, the journey towards transformative connectivity has only just begun. The coming years promise to bring further progress, with additional phases of the project set to unfold. Mindanao’s future is undoubtedly brighter with the railway as a backbone for its development, nurturing economic prosperity, social cohesion, and sustainable progress.

The Mindanao Railway Project stands as a testament to the transformative power of infrastructure development. On its first anniversary, the project symbolizes not only progress in transportation but also the promise of a more connected, prosperous, and united Mindanao. As the railway continues to lay tracks towards the future, the people of Mindanao eagerly anticipate the positive changes it will bring to their lives and the region as a whole.

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