Mindanao's Ambitious Railway Project May Start Partial Operations as Early as March 2022

According to the DOTr.

The planned Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) being built in the country’s second-largest island aims to start partial operations by the end of the first quarter of 2022, the Department of Transportation said.

During a livestreamed event on Wednesday (October 21), a DOTr official confirmed that the MRP will start partial operations by March 2022, although he also said that this is the same month when construction of the railway project will start. 

“Based on the indicative timeline, the detailed engineering design will be from the first quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2022,” Transportation Assistant Secretary for Project Implementation - Mindanao Cluster Eymard D. Eje said. “Right of way acquisition and clearing by the fourth quarter of 2021, procurement stage is for the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, and the construction phase from the second quarter of 2022 through 2023; partial operations by March 2022, and full operations by June of 2023,”  

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade affirmed the timeline and said he was pleased to hear that partial operations will start not too long after the construction phase. 

“This project will not only be started, but it will have partial operability by March 2022,” Tugade said.  

The DOTr made the announcement during the signing ceremony between the agency and China Railway Design Corp. (CRDC), which was designated as the project management consultant for the first phase of the MRP. 

Under the consultancy deal, the CRDC is expected to assist the MRP Management Office (PMO) in the “preparation and management of the overall project implementation program.” 


“This includes land acquisition activities, coordination with various government agencies, having authorities over or associated with the design and the works in the project, prepare and submit to the PMO cost estimates for budget approval and necessary updated and review of the detailed design for the project,” Eje explained. 

Phase One of the MRP is estimated to cost around P81.7 billion and will be funded by official development assistance loans from the Chinese government.

The 100-kilometer Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment will link Davao del Norte, Davao City and Digos City with its eight stations once completed. It is the first railway project in the island of Mindanao. The stations will be located at Tagum, Carmen, Panabo, Mudiang, Davao, Toril, Sta. Cruz and Digos.

The MRP has a design capacity of up to 122,000 passengers and is expected to reduce travel time between Tagum to Digos from three hours to one hour and 15 minutes. 

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