PH, Japan set to seal first infra loan in March » Manila Bulletin Business

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For Metro Manila subway

Published

By Chino S. Leyco

Lapu-Lapu City—The governments of the Philippines and Japan would sign their first loan agreement for the Duterte administration’s ambitious infrastructure projects in March this year, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

Following the Fourth Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation meeting here, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said they expect to seal the loan agreement for Metro Manila Subway project before the end of this quarter.

Carlos G. Dominguez III

Carlos G. Dominguez III

Dominguez, however, declined to give any estimates on the financing the Philippines may get from the Japanese government.

The National Economic and Development Authority earlier raised the project cost for the Metro Manila Subway project to R356.9 billion. It is not yet determined if the Japanese would fully-fund the subway development.

“The first tranche of the loan for the Metro Manila Subway Project is due for signing in March, 2018. Both sides agreed to work towards the partial operability of the subway line by 2022,” Dominguez told reporters.

Meanwhile, Dominguez said that they got an assurance from the Japanese government to speed up project and loan as well as grant processing for key infrastructure projects of the Philippines.

He explained the Japanese would shorten the review period relating to procurement for the projects and the provision of grant support for the conduct of advance detailed design.

“The Philippine side discussed the progress on the right-of-way acquisition and land resettlement, institutional arrangements on procurement, establishment of Project Monitoring Offices, budget allocation for government counterpart and measures to address cross-sectoral concerns,” Dominguez said.

The two governments also confirmed the candidate list of projects proposed for Japanese loan and grant financing, Dominguez said.

Among the list of candidate projects are the Arterial Road Bypass Project, Phase III; PNR North 2 (Malolos-Clark) and the PNR South Commuter (Manila-Los Baños) projects.

The government is targeting partial operations for the two rail lines by 2022.

Other projects included in the list are the Davao City Waste-to-Energy project; the Pasig-Marikina Channel Improvement Project, Phase IV of DPWH; and the MRT 3 Rehabilitation and Improvement Project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“I am convinced that, through our regular meetings, both our governments are prompted to deliver on our commitments and are encouraged to think of more innovative measures to improve our cooperation,” Dominguez said.

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