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Philippines, Japan ink P115.8 billion financing for Metro Manila subway

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Japan have signed the second tranche of the financing for the country’s first underground railway system.

Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. yesterday signed the 253.3 billion yen (P115.76 billion) funding for the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway project.

The first tranche worth 104.53 billion yen (P51.37 billion) was signed in 2018. Total loan for the project is at P357 billion.

The second tranche of the funding will pave the way for the expansion of the original planning line to include two more stations to reach 17 stations.

It will also include a spur line to Ninoy Aquino International Airport and rail tracks that will also be used by the North-South Commuter Train.

The Metro Manila Subway will be the Philippines’ first completely underground railway system funded by the Japanese government through an official development assistance (ODA).

The subway project is one of the flagship developments under the government’s Build Build Build program as it banks on robust infrastructure projects to boost economic growth.

The subway also targets to address the worsening traffic problem in the capital due to poor road network and the rising population’s demand for transportation.

Japan’s assistance aims to provide the Philippines sufficient funds to build quality infrastructure utilizing Japanese state-of-the-art technologies and expertise.

It was in February this year when the most essential component of the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) arrived in the country, placing the partial operability section of the P357-billion Metro Manila Subway project on track for completion by year-end.

The Metro Manila Subway project will stretch across 36 kilometers, connecting the Valenzuela Depot to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City and FTI.

The project aims to reduce travel time from the Valenzuela Depot to NAIA-3 to just 45 minutes, from the original one hour and 30 minutes.

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