By Roy Mabasa
The Philippines and Japan have signed a 205 billion yen (approximately P95 billion) loan involving railways and river projects aimed at promoting sustainable economic growth, overcoming vulnerability to various risks, as well as stabilizing and fortifying bases for human life and production in the country.
Following the Sixth Meeting of the Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation in Manila the other day, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda signed and exchanged notes on the latest multi-billion yen loan projects.
Dr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Advisor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Philippine economic managers witnessed the signing of the agreement.
The first project involves the North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project (I) that will run along the length of the railway from Tutuban to Calamba in Laguna (South Section), and from Malolos to Clark International Airport in Pampanga. This consists of a total extension of 109 kilometers.
The extension is expected to improve the connectivity between Manila and the surrounding areas, ease the heavy traffic congestion, and promote the convenience of the general public through fast, safe, and comfortable public transportation system.
Japan, together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will extend financing assistance and utilize Japan’s extensive railway knowledge, experience, and technology. The loan for this project will provide up to 167 billion yen (approx. P78 billion).
On the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project (Phase IV), the project will utilize Japan’s disaster prevention technology and will include major works such as dredging and construction of dikes, control gate structure, and revetment along the Pasig-Marikina river walls.
This specific project aims to mitigate flood damage in lowland areas of Metro Manila, combined with its Phase I (development of detailed design), and Phases II and III, which implemented river improvement works,
Total loan provision for the river improvement project will reach up to 38 billion yen (P18 billion pesos).