Japan, Philippines sign P51.3 B loan agreement for first Metro Manila subway

Japan and Philippines friendship has gotten stronger.

On Friday, the two countries signed a P51.3 billion loan agreement for the construction of the first Metro Manila subway with 30-km underground railway, which will help to ease the congested capital.

In a ceremony, the deal was announced by Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Yoshio Wada.

The agreement was inked by the two representatives which will make way for the initial phase of a 30-km underground railway with an estimated cost of P356.96 billion.

Furthermore, officials also said the loan agreement carries an interest rate of only 0.1 percent per annum payable in 40 years, with inclusion of a 12 year grace period.

The subway project needs a total loan financing of P259.6 billion, which was so far, the biggest commitment by JICA to a country divided into three to four tranches.

“The loan is really almost too good to believe... this is a very generous package from the JICA,” the finance chief, Domingues said in a conference.

The Metro subway will serve 14 to 16 stations and is expected to be full operation in 2025 but partial operation of the first three stations is expected to start in 2022.

Then, once done and completed, the first underground railroad in the country will operate from Mindanao Avenue to Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“The timely completion of the subway project will crown the aggressive infrastructure program the administration of President [Rodrigo] Duterte has initiated,” Dominguez said.

“It will likewise crown the achievement of the economic diplomacy the Duterte administration has undertaken,” he added.

Source: Philstar

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