Press Release
August 19, 2016


Senator Richard J. Gordon has proposed the establishment of a railway system in Mindanao to spur economic growth and development in the second largest island in the country.

"Mindanao is known as the Land of Promise, yet until the present, the State has failed to maximize the potential of the island to contribute to regional and national economic development. It is essential to facilitate transportation for both people and goods to spur economic growth and development in Mindanao," he pointed out.

Hence, Gordon filed Senate Bill No. 103 or the Mindanao Railway Act which aims to create the Mindanao Railway Corporation, an agency that would be authorized to establish and maintain an efficient railway system.

The senator explained that the creation of the Mindanao Railway Corporation is a crucial step in the State's efforts to fully harness the natural and human resources of Mindanao for the benefit of the island's inhabitants and the Filipino people as a whole.

"To invest money and time in the Mindanao Railway System would be risky beyond anything ever before attempted, but when it is completed, it would link the entire island of Mindanao, forever changing the nature of Mindanao's politics and economy," he added.

Under the proposed measure, the powers and functions of the Mindanao Railway Corporation include the following:

  • To formulate, adopt, and implement a comprehensive development plan for the Mindanao Railway System;

  • To promote and encourage the participation of local governments and the private sector in the establishment of the Mindanao Railway System;

  • To develop, construct, operate, and maintain, directly or indirectly, the Mindanao Railway System, including but not limited to stations, terminals, and warehouses;

  • To prescribe, fix and regulate the schedule, frequency, routing and pricing of railway transportation fees, and other service fees of the Mindanao Railway System;

  • To construct, own, lease, operate, and maintain, directly or indirectly, public utilities and infrastructure facilities and such auxiliary support services needed for the Mindanao Railway System;

  • To design, construct, operate and, maintain, directly or indirectly, through contract such auxiliary infrastructure support facilities;

  • To exercise the right of eminent domain;

  •  To form, establish, organize, and maintain subsidiary corporations or joint ventures to encourage local government and private sector participation in the development of the Mindanao Railway System;

  • To encourage private investment in the Mindanao Railway System; and

  • To promulgate rules and regulations, and perform such other powers and functions as may be necessary, appropriate, or incidental to this Act.

Section 6 of the said bill provides that "The Mindanao Railway Corporation shall undertake, directly or indirectly, a comprehensive development plan of the Mindanao Railway System to provide an adequate and efficient railway transportation."

The measure also proposes to give a 10-year national and local tax exemption to all properties, whether real or personal, that would be actually, directly, and exclusively used in the Mindanao Railway System.

Gordon has long been proposing the development of what is tagged as the country's Food Basket, he authored Republic Act 9996 or the Mindanao Development Authority Act of 2010.

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