Project of the century: Metro Manila subway OK seen in September
(The Philippine Star) - August 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Japan-funded Mega Manila Subway Project, which will link major business districts and government offices in Metro Manila, is expected to be approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in September.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the feasibility study for the project has already been completed, but the project scope and financing requirements are still being deliberated upon by the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC), both at the technical and Cabinet levels.

Pernia said the construction of the subway is among the priority infrastructure projects of the government.

“The subway is going to be the project of the century for the Philippines and Metro Manila,” he said yesterday. “In the next NEDA Board meeting it will be taken up.”

The first phase of the project alignment comprises 13 stations from Quezon City to Taguig and is expected to serve 350,000 passengers daily.

The Department of Transportation has said the extension of the subway project to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is being considered because of expected growth in passenger volume.

It will cost some $5 billion to build the 25-kilometer underground mass transport system, funding will come from official development assistance (ODA) from the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Pernia said the ODA loan would carry a less than one percent interest with a term of 20 years. A grace period of 15 years would also be provided before payment of the loan.

The NEDA Board is targeting to approve the project in time for the scheduled signing of the loan agreement in November when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines.

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