Transport sector gets P156 billion loan from Japan

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Transport sector gets P156 billion loan from Japan
Commuters ride the EDSA carousel busway at the Nepa Q-Mart station as traffic starts to build up along EDSA in Quezon City for the morning rush on January 24, 2023.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines —  The Philippines has secured over P156 billion in loan financing from the Japanese government for funding transportation improvements in the country.

In behalf of the Philippine government, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno signed two projects worth 377 billion yen or around P156.22 billion with Japan.

This was done on the sidelines of the ongoing five-day official visit of President Marcos in Japan to secure investments and boost political and economic ties with the Asian neighbor.

The two landmark projects inked are aimed at strengthening the transportation network and alleviating traffic congestion in the Philippines.

The projects include the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Extension project, spanning Malolos, Bulacan to Clark International Airport and from Solis, Manila to Calamba in Laguna.

The second tranche of the loan at 270 billion yen or P111.87 billion was signed during the visit.

The other project signed by Diokno is the NSCR Phase 1 from Malolos to Tutuban, to be funded with supplemental loan worth 107 million yen or roughly P44.34 billion.

The Malolos-Manila and the Clark Extension are components of the NSCR project, a 163-kilometer urban rail transit system designed to provide more sustainable transportation, reduce travel time and allow greater connectivity between Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

NSCR Malolos-Manila spans 38 kilometers and costs P149.13 billion. The project broke ground in February 2019.

On the other hand, the 53-kilometer Clark Extension is seen going into full operation in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Meanwhile, the Philippine delegation also met with companies from the semiconductor, electronics and wiring harness industries to discuss investment opportunities in the country.

These are Brother Industries Inc., IBIDEN Co. Ltd., Japan Aviation Electronics Industry Ltd., Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Nidec Corp., Panasonic Corp., Seiko Epson Corp., Sumitomo Wiring System Ltd., TDK Corp., YAZAKI Corp. and Yokowo Co. Ltd.

Diokno said the companies, which have presence in the Philippines, have indicated plans to expand operations and ramp up the training and hiring of more Filipino workers in their operations.

The semiconductor and electronics industry is the top contributor to the manufacturing sector and is the Philippines’ largest export sector.


Go Negosyo founder and MSME Development Council vice chair Joey Concepcion and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual thanked Japan at a formal ceremony in Tokyo yesterday for its support of MSME development through entrepreneurial mentorship.

The Japanese government, through the Japan ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), gave a grant amounting to $681,339 to fund the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN).

In a ceremony held at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo, President Marcos witnessed the presentation of a Certificate of Gratitude to the Government of Japan, which was received by Yutaka Arima of Japan’s ministry of foreign affairs, accompanied by Matsui Miho, deputy director in charge of JAIF.

AMEN is one of 35 agreements, loans and grants exchanged in Tokyo during Marcos’ visit.

“Through their support of AMEN, the government of Japan has contributed greatly to creating prosperity for more in the ASEAN by uplifting the SMEs, which make up 96 percent of the total enterprises in the region,” said Concepcion.

He observed that even in Japan, SMEs comprise almost all of the enterprises in the country and that across the ASEAN, efforts to accelerate economic growth and job generation through small business enterprises are aligned.

In the Philippines, Marcos has instructed the strengthening of the MSME Development Council during the MSME Summit in August 2022.

AMEN is a region-wide program established in the Philippines as Kapatid Mentorship for Micro Enterprises of the DTI and Go Negosyo. It is based wholly on KMME, which has benefited more than 12,000 MSMEs and mobilized over 800 mentors since 2016.

AMEN was launched in 2017 as the legacy project of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council-Philippines during the Philippines chairmanship of the ASEAN.

AMEN completed its pilot implementation in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, and its ten-part module has been translated to seven languages – Khmer, Indonesian, Lao, Bahasa Malay, Burmese, Thai and Viet.

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