Solons want the Mindanao Railway Project to be looked into by the House.
Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte of Davao City’s first district and Rep. Eric Yap of Benguet’s only district have introduced a House resolution (HR) requesting a congressional probe into the proposed Mindanao Railway Project (MRP).
HR 286 expressly requests an investigation of the manner in which the Department of Transportation (DOTr) acquired right-of-ways and expropriated private properties that will be impacted by the train line.
Duterte and Yap made it clear in a statement released on Friday that they are not opposed to the project’s continuation, but they do want the national government to look into a number of complaints and claims of irregularities made by locals who will be impacted by the project.
Duterte stated that he had received a lot of objections from people in Davao City whose homes will be directly impacted by the proposed railway route.
One of the centerpiece initiatives of the previous Duterte administration was the PHP81.6 billion MRP.
Its 100-kilometer Tagum-Davao-Digos leg is anticipated to cut the distance between Tagum City, Davao del Norte, and Digos City, Davao del Sur, from 2.5 hours to 1.3 hours.
The three-phase MRP spans 1,530 kilometers of circumferential rail lines that would link a number of locations in Mindanao, including the cities of Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, and Zamboanga, as well as the provinces of Davao.
However, Duterte pointed out that the MRP train line would go through crowded neighborhoods in Davao City “without the necessary geological surveys or sufficient public discussions with the affected populations.”
Additionally, according to sources, some politicians purchased a sizable plot of land where the rail line will be built at a bargain and are now selling it to the government for up to ten times the original cost.
A resolution against the MRP was previously voted by Barangay Catalunan Grande in Davao City because it will negatively impact a number of the neighborhood’s homes and “result in an excessive safety and health danger, as well as noise pollution, to name a few.”
The legislators noted that while pursuing the MRP for continuous growth and development in the region, “there is a need to correctly assess the correct and appropriate manner of defining the places where the MRP will traverse to ensure public safety and welfare.”
The MRP “would not only make travel faster but also safer, more convenient, and comfortable for passengers along the aforementioned corridor,” Duterte and Yap noted in the resolution.
The investigation, according to the legislators, “will ensure openness and accountability on the use of public monies, while always keeping in mind the safety and welfare of the general populace in the delivery of public services.”
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