The Philippines and Japan on Tuesday, (July 27) formally signed an additional P116-billion (JPY253 billion) loan package to finance the building of the country’s first underground railway.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko signed the exchange of notes for the official development assistance (ODA) loan.
The second tranche of the project’s ODA loan has an interest rate of 0.10% per annum, is 40 years to pay, and has a 13-year grace period.
This follows the first tranche (JPY104.530 billion) of the ODA loan for the subway project, the formal agreement for which was signed on November 13, 2017.
The 33-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project will have 17 stations and aims to cut travel time from North Avenue in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from 1 hour and 10 minutes to just 35 minutes.
It will traverse the cities of Valenzuela, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque and Pasay.
The line will have an initial capacity of up to 1 million passengers per day.
With the project’s financing in place, the construction of the subway line’s first segment is already ongoing with two out of 25 tunnel boring machines already in Manila.
Meanwhile, the line’s trains are also ongoing manufacturing, and with all contracts to be awarded before the end of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The Metro Manila Subway will be a a state of the art working system attesting to the deep friendship between the Philippines and Japan,” Secretary Locsin stated.
“This signing will deepen and strengthen the cooperation and partnership of both countries,” according to Ambassador Koshikawa.
“This year marks the 65th Anniversary of the normalization of Diplomatic Relations and 10th Anniversary of Strategic Partnership between Japan and the Philippines,” he noted.