Lobregat optimistic on railway project PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 15:12

By DEXTER YAP

Congressman Celso Lobregat has expressed optimism on the realization of the Mindanao Railway System under the Duterte administration.

This after President Rodrigo Duterte bannered the (MRP) as one of his priorities in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday.

“So, we shall also pursue rail projects in Metro Manila and the major key-points in the country including the Mindanao Rail Project. Hindi ako nagyayabang pero totoo talaga ‘to. I assure you because it’s going to materialize: Rail projects, the Davao Transit System, the Cebu Transit System, the North and South Luzon Railways and the Panay Railways project.” Duterte said.

President Duterte added that road development projects shall complement with the thrust to provide modern agriculture, infrastructural by expanding and improving the construction and rehabilitation of roads and the irrigation and establishing modern harvest and post-harvest facilities to minimize losses.

On the other hand, he also said that he will accelerate infrastructure spending by improving national roads and bridges and implementing the Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network and other road network master plans, as well as pursue inter-island linkage projects.

These were the very reason why Congressman Lobregat was eager in pushing House Bill House Bill 123 – AN ACT CREATING THE MINDANAO RAILWAYS CORPORATION which he filed last June 30,2016 as one of his priority bills in the 17th Congress.

“I am very optimistic that this Mindanao Railway Project will be started under the Duterte administration, considering that it is not only a priority of the president, but a huge necessity in the Mindanao region in terms of inter-connection,” Lobregat said.

House Bill No.123, was filed by Lobregat last June 30 at 1:30 pm. It was the 125th bill filed for the 17th Congress.

Based on the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for the conduct of feasibility study of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP), the proposed MRP is supportive of the thrusts of the updated 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan (PDP)., specifically under Chapter 10 (Accelerating Infrastructure Development).

Lobregat revealed that before the House Bill was filed in congress, he had personally communicated with Senate President Koko Pimentel, the author of Senate Bill No.3095 and informed him of his intention to adopt the said bill with amendments and file it in the House of Representatives.

Pimentel in return was very happy on this development and told Lobregat that it is a good start.

The proposed MRP will enhanced interconnectivity and linkages thru passenger and freight railway transport development and will further boost tourism, trade and commerce in Mindanao. — Dexter Yap