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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Japan extends ¥253 billion or P116 billion for Metro Manila Subway project

Philippines, Japan sign additional loan package for Metro Manila Subway

MANILA – The Philippines and Japan exchanged notes after the formal signing of an additional ¥253 billion or P116 billion loan package to finance the construction of the country’s first underground railway.

According to a statement from the Office of the President, the exchange of notes for the Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan was signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and Japanese Ambassador to Manila Koshikawa Kazuhiko.

The second trance has an interest rate of 0.10% per annum and would take 40 years to pay, and has a 13-year grace period. This follows the first tranche of ¥104.530 billion of the ODA loan for the subway project. The formal agreement was signed on November 13,2017.

Secretary Locsin said the Metro Manila Subway will be a shining monument, “better yet a state of the art working system attesting to the deep friendship between the Philippines and Japan.”

“Japan holds a preeminent role in our government’s infrastructure development agenda, which is a priority of President Duterte’s administration,” Secretary Locsin was quoted saying.

He lauded the efforts of the Departments of Finance and Transportation and the National Economic and Development Authority which all ensured the realization of the project.

“This year marks the 65th Anniversary of the normalization of Diplomatic Relations and the 10th Anniversary of Strategic Partnership between Japan and the Philippines. This signing will deepen and strengthen the cooperation and partnership of both countries, and I am happy to sign this Exchange of Notes today,” Ambassador Koshikawa said.

Should the project be fully realized, it will traverse 33 kilometers of Metro Manila subway with 17 stations which will further cut travel time from North Avenue in Quezon City to Ninoy Aquino International Airport from one hour and 10 minutes to 35 minutes. It will pass through Valenzuela, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Paranaque and Pasay and will have an initial capacity of up to a million passengers per day.

With the financing assured, the construction of the subway line’s first segment is already ongoing with two (2) out of 25 tunnel boring machines already in Manila. The line’s trains are also being manufactured. And with all contracts to be awarded before President Duterte ends his term by June 30,2022. (Melo M. Acuña)

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. (left) and Japanese Ambassador to Manila Koshikawa Kazuhiko show the notes they signed worth ¥253 billion to finance the Metro Manila Subway project. (DFA contributed photo)

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