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JV Ejercito

Railway is the only way! 🚂 🚊 🚆RAILWAY PROJECTS ON TRACK

At the Finance Subcommittee K virtual hearing over the proposed 2023 budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agencies, Sen. Joseph Victor "JV" G. Ejercito on Friday, September 30, 2022, asked on the status of the ongoing railway projects in the country. "Among the ASEAN 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. What will be the total route length upon the completion of the railway projects of the DOTr?" Ejercito asked. DOTr Undersecretary Timothy Batan said that across all current investment approved railway projects, if completed, the total route length will stretch to 1,209 kM. However, loan applications on three China pledged projects – Mindanao Railway System, PNR South Long-Haul and Subic Light Rail 3 – were withdrawn in June 2022 due to the transition to the new administration and disagreements with China on loan interest rates. But DOTr assured the committee that it has already submitted to the Department of Finance its request for reapplication of loans, which are currently being processed and reviewed. Ejercito stressed the importance of the immediate completion of the ongoing railway projects, such as the Mindanao Railway System, as it is not only vital for economic growth but may also be "instrumental to lasting peace" in the region. (Screengrab / Senate PRIB)

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