I was reading this article about the planned railway system that is going to link all the various parts of Mindanao to each other.
It's a fine idea, I think. It certainly would improve industrial possibilities in some of the poorest areas of The Philippines.
One question though: Mindanao is, essentially, nothing but mountains and beach... which makes it obvious where one would be building a railroad. Most people (especially around here in Jasaan) live within 100 meters of the beach. That's a lot of displaced people, I think. Hell: On certain spans of the coast where the only flat land is the 50 feet or so between the national highway and the water's edge, a railroad would displace pretty much everybody.
Personally, I think they should build the railway right down the middle of the national highway... right in the pavement, San Francisco trolley style. I doubt that the trains would be speeding any faster than the big trucks, and there wouldn't be so many of them, and they wouldn't be so long as to cause huge problems. Also, the National Highway occupies the flattest route around the island already. Finally, it would drop the cost of constructing the railway by a huge margin... probably to a tiny fraction of any other route being considered.