Gov’t secures P18.8-B soft loan from Japan for MRT 3 rehab
The government will “rebuild and reinvent” the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 after securing a 38.1-billion yen (about P18.8 billion) loan from Japan for the rehabilitation of the dilapidated mass railway along Edsa.
The loan agreement for the MRT 3 rehabilitation was signed Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) senior vice president Yasushi Tanaka.
Dominguez said Japan’s “generous financing support” would partly finance the rehabilitation of the 16.9-kilometer railway running across 13 stations along Edsa.
The remaining P3.2 billion of the nearly P22-billion MRT 3 rehabilitation project will be funded by the national budget.
The Jica loan has an interest rate of 0.1 percent a year for nonconsulting services and 0.01 percent a year for consulting services.
It has a 40-year maturity period, inclusive of a grace period of 12 years.
“This is by every measure a very soft loan that will enable us to address a very pressing problem,” Dominguez said.
With the funding, “I would like to assure our harried commuters that we will rebuild and reinvent this vital rail service as quickly as possible,” he said.
Under the MRT 3 rehabilitation project, the implementing agency Department of Transportation (DOTr) will replace all wornout tracks, upgrade the “obsolete” signaling system, as well as overhaul the 72 15-year-old light rail vehicles, Dominguez said.
“This rehabilitation project will result in the expansion of the MRT 3’s current degraded capacity and modernization of all its subsystems. The DOTr expects the number of operating trains for MRT 3 to increase from 15 to 20 at peak hours, with time intervals of train arrivals reduced by half from seven minutes to only 3.5 minutes. With its system rehabilitation, MRT 3 is also expected to increase its train speed from 30 kilometers per hour to 60 kph,” he said.
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