DOTR secures another P112-b loan from Japan to fund subway project

The transport ministry has secured an additional loan of 112.31 billion pesos (253 billion yen) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the country’s first underground railway system.

It will continue support for Metro Manila’s subway project as the first tranche of 105 billion yen (46 billion pesos), signed in March 2018, is almost fully utilized.

The new loan was signed by DOTR under the leadership of Secretary Arthur Tugade and JICA on February 10.

It increased JICA’s total ODA loan to 848 billion yen (376.6 billion pesos) to support the country’s railway network, which has suffered from decades of underinvestment and delayed implementation. implementation of projects, and which has caught up considerably under the “Build, Program Construire, Construire” programme.

These official development assistance loans, with highly concessional terms of 0.10% interest per annum, a repayment period of 40 years and a grace period of 12 years, have been staggered to optimize financing costs.

“Japan’s equally aggressive increase in support demonstrates its confidence in DOTR’s enhanced implementation capacity, including its progressive ability to comply with the stringent environmental, social and governance safeguards of ODA lenders,” the agency said.

The Metro Manila Metro proposal was first developed in 1973 as part of the Metro Manila Urban Transport Study. When Tugade took over as head of DOTr in July 2016, the MMSP did not have a completed feasibility study, did not have investment approval from the NEDA board, had no funding and did not have a single contract awarded.

The MMSP was approved by the NEDA Board of Directors in September 2017, its first loan tranche was signed in March 2018 and its first contract was awarded in November 2018.

Four other contracts were awarded for the civil works of the partial operability section, 240 train cars and the electromechanical systems. Three more civil works contracts are expected to be awarded in the first half of this year.

The construction of the partial operability section of the MMSP from Valenzuela to North Ave. in full swing and the first two tunnel boring machines for the project (out of 25) arrived in 2021.

The 33-kilometer metro, dubbed the “project of the century”, stretches from Valenzuela in the north to NAIA Terminal 3 and FTI in the south.

The project is expected to reduce travel time between Quezon City and NAIA from one hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes. It is expected to serve around 370,000 passengers per day in its first full year of operation, with a capacity to serve up to 1 million passengers per day in subsequent years.

The MMSP is physically interconnected and interoperable with the southern segment of the North-South commuter rail system, allowing a passenger to board a subway train, for example, at the North Ave station. from MMSP and get off at Calamba station from NSCR.

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