Jica: Valenzuela to NAIA in 45 minutes when subway done in 2027 | Inquirer Business
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Jica: Valenzuela to NAIA in 45 minutes when subway done in 2027

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:35 PM February 15, 2022

MANILA, Philippines—Once the Philippines’ first metrowide subway gets completed in 2027, commuters can travel between the cities of Valenzuela and Pasay in just 45 minutes, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) said.

In a statement on Tuesday (Feb. 15), Jica said the P357-billion first phase of the Metro Manila subway project, which will span 27 kilometers underground between east Valenzuela City and Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City, will cut travel time from the current one hour and 10 minutes for about 370,000 passengers daily.

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On its website, Jica said the subway project will be completed—facilities put into service across all 15 stations—by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in November 2027. The subway will “accommodate the increasing transportation needs and alleviate serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila,” said Jica, which is helping finance the project.

Procurement for the ongoing construction work started in 2018, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and ensuing lockdown restrictions slightly delayed implementation.

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“The DOTr has already executed and started works for contracts on consulting services, civil works, trains, and electromechanical systems. Remaining civil works contracts are expected to be procured and awarded soon,” Jica said.

Last week, the Philippine government, through the Department of Finance (DOF), and Jica, on behalf of Japan, signed the agreement for the second tranche of concessional loan worth 253.3 billion Japanese yen (over P112 billion) to build the subway. The first loan tranche of 104.5 billion yen (more than P46 billion) took effect in 2018.

Jica said the second loan tranche will finance the following: construction of stations, underground tunnels between stations, depot, and other public works; procurement of rail systems and rolling stocks; as well as consulting services for tender assistance, construction supervision, and transit-oriented development support.

“This second tranche loan is not only representative of the headway that this flagship project has achieved, but also an evidence of the Philippines and Japan’s solid partnership to expanding railway infrastructure and enhancing the country’s connectivity under its ‘Build, Build, Build program,'” Jica’s chief representative in the Philippines, Eigo Azukizawa, said.

“Here we are in 2022, making tangible progress in certain sections, with more contracts already in various stages of procurement and implementation, and needing this fresh financing to ensure the sustained advancement of the project for Filipinos to soon realize the dream of having its very own world-class subway system based on Japan’s experiences and technologies, to ease the traffic burden, and improve the overall quality of life,” Azukizawa added.

The second loan tranche will carry a 0.1-percent annual interest rate on top of 0.01 percent per annum for consulting services. Repayment will span 40 years, with a 13-year grace period.

Since this official development assistance (ODA) project was under Japan’s special terms for economic partnership (STEP), procurement will be “Japan-tied” with Japanese firms to be tapped to “promote the visibility of Japanese aid through a transfer of outstanding Japanese technology and expertise to developing nations” like the Philippines.

Specifically, Japan’s technologies will be showcased during underground tunnel excavation, construction in narrow areas, in signal systems, and in the vehicles that will run the subway, Jica said.

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TAGS: “Build, development, Infrastructure, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Metro subway, NAIA, Valenzuela City
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