13 Jan The Proposed Mindanao Railway System Project Might Finally Push Through
The proposed Mindanao Railway System (MRS) Project might finally push through if only the national government can get its act together and finally get this long-delayed project finally on track as it has been gathering dust since the 1990’s.
At the time of its conceptualization during the term of then President Fidel V. Ramos in 1992 (read: That was more than a decade ago), the whole MRS project was supposedly to cost around P78 billion and to cover approximately 2,000 kilometers of railways connecting the major cities of Mindanao.
Even after numerous feasibility studies conducted under the administrations of President Ramos, President Joseph Estrada, and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, nothing further went beyond these studies, although during the term of President Arroyo she promised that the project would see the light of day. When President Aquino took office, it was noted that all MRS project offices in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City were closed. Although a proposed feasibility study (again?) will be conducted by June of 2016, the present Aquino administration has made no further moves towards this project.
While Metro Manila and Luzon continues to embark on new railway projects under the Public-Private Partnership Program, Mindanao has yet to see daylight on any railway system that would greatly benefit economic trading and improve the transportation system that would benefit literally millions of Mindanaoans. The original proposed development phases of the MRS system will supposedly be implemented in six stages or phases that will eventually cover the whole of Mindanao including the inner cities and towns. Cagayan de Oro will be covered in the final sixth stage of the original plan.
Recently, presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and vice-presidential candidate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano have announced that should they be elected in office they will make the Mindanao Railway System their priority project. This actually was discussed later on when Cayetano visited Cagayan de Oro recently.