The Mindanao railway project is now awaiting funding commitment from the Chinese government.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said a loan agreement between China and the Philippines is expected to be signed.
Design and construction of the project is planned to begin by third quarter.
“The plan really is that the funding is from China,” Tugade said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
Tugade said Phase 1 of the Mindanao railway project, covering the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment, is expected to be completed within the term of President Duterte.
He said bidding documents for the project have already been made, but actual bidding has been delayed due to some changes.
The railway project is now being envisioned as a two-track, electric, and standard train system, instead of a previously single-track system with diesel trains.
“If you will do this in Central Luzon, why will it be single-track for Mindanao? Why diesel for Mindanao? I don’t want that. What Central Luzon will have, Mindanao must also have,” Tugade said.
Meanwhile, Tugade said the Metro Manila Subway Project is on track as formal construction is eyed to commence before the year ends.
Last March, an agreement was signed for a P51 billion Japan International Cooperation Agency loan to the Philippine government for the construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project (Phase 1).