On November 13, the Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines, Koji Haneda, and Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, Alan Peter Cayetano, signed and exchanged notes concerning for the provision of JPY 104.53 billion (USD 919.67 million) loan for the first phase of Metro Manila Subway Project.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Under the agreement, the Government of Japan will assist in the development and implementation of the Metro Manila Subway project providing loan and expertise. Signing of loan agreement is expected in January 2018.
In September, Philippine’s The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved the first phase of the metro project. The new line will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City and will terminate at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Paranaque City. Its initial investment requirement is estimated at USD 7 billion. This spring, JICA has released plans for the Mega Manila Subway (MMS) after completing their collection survey during preliminary studies done in 2015.
The following phases of the metro project would involve extending lines up to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan north of Metro Manila and up to Dasmarinas, Cavite south of Metro Manila.
The project will contribute to relieving serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila by meeting growing transport demand, as well as easing atmospheric pollution and climate change. The new metro is estimated to transport approximately 500,000 passengers per day in 2027, two years after the completion of the project, and to reduce the time required for moving from Mindanao Avenue Station to FTI Station to 30 minutes by express train, where it currently takes approximately two hours by car. This project is thus expected to contribute to sustainable economic growth through the promotion of investment in the Philippines.
On October 30, during the Japan-Philippines summit, it was affirmed that thw two countries would further strengthen the “Strategic Partnership” of Japan and the Philippines. Under the cooperation agreements, besides the metro project in Manila, Japan will support, the development of the North-South Commuter Railway Project by a yen-loan extension.
For this project, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) announced that the construction will start in the second quarter of 2019 and involves a total line of 180 km between Clark, Pampanga and Los Baños, Laguna. The North-South railway project comprises two components. It includes a 653 km passenger line, of which 478 km is a main line and 175 km extensions, linking Tutuban, Manila, to Legazpi, Bicol. There are proposed two other extensions from Calamba to Batangas city (58 km) and Legazpi to Matnog, Sorsogon (117 km). The other component comprises 56 km commuter line from Tutuban, Manila to Calamba, Laguna.
In addition, in the railway sector, the two governments will finalize the basic concept for the establishment of the Philippine railway institute, including assistance for its physical construction as well as operational needs. “The two Governments will further cooperate towards the quick and sure commencement of operation of these railway projects,” the Japan-Philippines joint statement says.