THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it will soon offer feasibility-study contracts for the proposed Samar-Leyte and Panay railway projects.

“The study is under procurement. A typical high-quality feasibility study will take two years,” Leonel Cray P. de Velez, assistant secretary for planning and project development, said in a Viber message on Thursday.

The DoTr website indicates plans to bid out the feasibility studies for the projects this quarter.

The studies, each valued at P78.60 million, will include the pre-feasibility and development studies as well as the preliminary detailed engineering design of the infrastructure projects, the DoTr said.

Last year, the DoTr said it obtained about P600 million in funding for four feasibility studies on four railway projects — the Panay railway, the Philippine National Railway North Long Haul line, the North Mindanao Railway, and the San Mateo Railway.

The Panay rail system project includes the construction of a passenger and freight railway, logistics facilities, maintenance depots, and transit-oriented developments.

Also in 2023, the DoTr created a task force for the proposed Eastern Visayas Metro Railway System which will link Samar and Leyte islands.

Last month, the DoTr was undertaking a study to evaluate the viability of the Mindanao Railway Project Phase 3. — Ashley Erika O. Jose