Japan to extend P18.4-B soft loan for MRT 3 rehab
The Japanese government has committed to extend to the Philippines 38.1 billion yen (about P18.4 billion) for the rehabilitation of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, according to the Department of Finance.
This is on top of the financing assistance it is extending for other big-ticket infrastructure projects, the DOF added.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that in last week’s Fifth Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation in Tokyo, Japanese officials had expressed their government’s intention to extend indicative official development assistance (ODA) loan of 38.1 billion yen for the MRT 3 project.
Japan is also set to provide a supplemental loan of 4.37 billion yen for the second phase of the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environmental Protection Project, subject to the Philippine and Japanese government approval.
Officials of the two countries also confirmed the updated list of projects being pitched for financing by the Philippines: the P211.4-billion Philippine National Railways (PNR) North 2 Project; P124.1-billion PNR South Commuter Line; P10-billion Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao, and the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project.
During the meeting jointly led by Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia for the Philippine side and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and special adviser to the Cabinet Shigeru Kiyama for the Japanese side, the officials “reaffirmed their commitment toward the partial operability of the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project by May 2022, subject to the progress of the measures that need to be carried out to deal with various concerns, such as land acquisition and relocation.
In March, the Philippine government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency signed a 104.5-billion yen or P51.3-billion loan to jump-start the construction of the country’s first subway system.
While the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1 is projected to cost P356.9 billion, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier expressed intention to possibly lend up to 600 billion yen or about P294.8 billion under the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation for the Next Five Years issued last October.
The 36-kilometer subway, which will connect Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City and Food Terminal Inc. in Taguig City, with a spur line to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, would be the biggest Philippine infrastructure project to be funded by Japanese official development assistance.
The subway would be completed by 2025.
For the PNR North 2 and South Commuter Line projects being eyed for cofinancing with the Manila-based multilateral lender Asian Development Bank, the two sides “agreed to continue the trilateral consultations,” which the DOF said were aimed at “[firming] up strategies and ways on how to efficiently implement the two PNR projects.”
“We are targeting to sign the exchange of notes for both projects in November. We will also exert efforts to achieve the challenging goal of making the North rail section partially operational by 2022,” Dominguez said.
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