ROXAS CITY –The final decision on whether or not to revive the Panay railways project rests on President Benigno Aquino III, said Governor Victor Tanco Sr.
He said it is now up to Aquino if he will push through or not the revival despite the recent statement of newly-appointed Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas that the move is impractical.
Roxas expressed disfavor to the project and instead pushed for the widening of the national highways that will link the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo.
Roxas said the project is not beneficial because both have the same products, thus, the railways will not be beneficial when it comes to trade.
Earlier, the Regional Development Council 6, chaired by Tanco, approved the proposal to revive the railways system, following endorsement and support of Capiz and Iloilo local officials.
Tanco said he already forwarded the proposal to Aquino for final approval and implementation.
Meanwhile, the revival of Panay railways will cost $600 million or roughly P37.8 billion and will link Iloilo City to Caticlan in Malay, Aklan, the gateway to Boracay Island.
The operations of Panay Railways stopped in 1985 at the height of the collapse of the sugar industry.*