DOTr optimistic railway projects will push through

October 4, 2022 Camille P. Balagtas 108 views

THE Marcos administration is determined to push through with the railway projects to ensure the best service the present government can give to the Filipino people.

This was revealed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Timothy Batan during the proposed 2023 budget of the DOTr and its attached agencies.

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito asked about the status of the ongoing railway projects in the country, which Batan said will highly like “push through” as he assured the committee that it has already been submitted to the Department of Finance (DOF) is requestion for reapplication of loans, which are currently being processed and reviewed.

It can be recalled that the loan application on three China pledged projects – Mindanao Railway System, PNR South Long-Haul, and Subic Light Rail 3 were withdrawn in June 2022 due to the transition to the new administration and disagreements with China on loan interest rates.

“Among the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries, the Philippines has the shortest railway route. Probably, we are 30 to 40 years behind in terms of infrastructure development compared to our neighbors. The total route length of our railway projects is only 148 kilometers,” Ejercito said.

Ejercito stressed the importance of the immediate completion of the ongoing railway projects, such as the Mindanao Railway System, as it is vital for economic growth and may also be “instrumental to lasting peace” in the region.

Sen. Nancy Binay expressed the same with Ejercito, saying the resumption of these big-ticket railway projects will really help the country but warned DOTr not to make any formal announcement until they already have it.