Japan vows infra support for Philippines under 'Build Better More' policy

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com
Japan vows infra support for Philippines under 'Build Better More' policy
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (C) poses for a selfie during a visit to the Philippine House of Representative in Quezon City on Nov. 4, 2023. Japan and the Philippines said on Nov. 3, 2023 they will start negotiations for a defence pact that would allow the countries to deploy troops on each other's territory.
AFP / Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed Japan's commitment to helping the Philippines with its infrastructure projects, aligning with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s "Build Better More" policy.

Kishida made the announcement following his bilateral meeting with Marcos in Malacañang Palace on Friday. 

The Japanese leader highlighted Japan's role in projects such as the Dalton Pass and the Manila Metro Subway. 

He also said that Japan's commitment to the Philippines is not only limited to infrastructure but also extends to other areas like smart agriculture, renewable energy adoption and disaster management.

“In the area of economy, I mentioned we will continue with the public-private support for infrastructure development such as the Dalton Pass and the Manila Metro (Subway Project) in line with President Marcos’ 'Build Better More' policy,” Kishida said in his statement.

“And also decision was made to provide heavy equipment for disaster management to help peace and economic and social development in the Mindanao region. In addition, we will continue to operate in areas such as smart agriculture, decarbonization and energy transition, and tourism while keeping a close eye on the next month’s ASEAN’s zero emission community (AZEC) Summit,” he added.

The "Build Better More" program extends the groundwork set by the prior administration's "Build Build Build" initiative, designed to tackle the infrastructure deficiencies that have hindered the nation's overall development.

Marcos expressed gratitude for Japan's support, highlighting the Philippines' goal to achieve Upper Middle-Income Country status by 2025. 

“The Japan-funded Metro Manila Subway Project, and the development of the North-South Commuter Railway and its extension will secure a reliable, safe, and efficient mass transportation system for the entire country,” Marcos said.

The two leaders also announced the signing of key agreements during Kishida's visit, spanning sectors such as tourism, mining, defense, security cooperation, climate change mitigation, and road infrastructure enhancement in Mindanao.

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