ADB, Jica to fund 2 railway projects
The Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency are intending to cofinance two massive railway projects connecting Metro Manila to Pampanga up north and Laguna down south.
The P211.4-billion Philippine National Railways North 2 project as well as the P124.1-billion PNR South Commuter or the North-South Railway Project-South Line were “both being prepared under a cofinancing arrangement involving the ADB and Jica,” the ADB’s Philippine office said.
Based on the ADB timetable, its counterpart financing for PNR North 2 will be up for approval next year, while that for the south line is seen approved in 2020.
For Jica’s part, senior representative Tetsuya Yamada confirmed that the aid agency was “considering cofinancing PNR North 2 and South Commuter with the ADB.”
“But this is not firm yet,” Yamada said in an e-mail.
Earlier documents showed that the loan agreement for the PNR North 2 connecting Malolos, Bulacan, and the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga was expected to be signed by the fourth quarter of this year, following the National Economic and Development Authority Board’s approval in June last year.
Construction of the 69-kilometer railway with seven stations passing through Clark International Airport will start in January next year and is expected to be ready for operations by the second quarter of 2022.
It will be connected to the P255-billion, 38-kilometer first phase of the PNR North project between Tutuban and Malolos, which is under construction.
The South Commuter project will run between Tutuban, Manila, and Los Baños, Laguna.
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