MANILA — Japan has pledged to provide a loan worth JPY 104.53 billion (USD923.41 million) for the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) which is expected to ease traffic congestion in the metropolis.
The amount represents the initial tranche of aid to be provided by the Japanese government for the MMSP, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The exchange of notes for the railway project was signed during the bilateral meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Monday on the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
The exchange of notes signifies that the details of the project and its financing have been settled paving way for the signing of the loan agreement on January next year.
“The Exchange of Notes and Loan Agreements for subsequent tranches will be signed as the project advances in implementation,” the DOTr said in a statement Thursday.
The PHP355.6 billion MMSP will have fourteen stations from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City up to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with its groundbreaking expected by fourth quarter of 2018.
The subway system is envisioned to be an underground mass transportation system connecting major business districts and government centers which is expected to serve 370,000 passengers daily in its opening year. Its following phases would involve extending lines up to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan north of Metro Manila and up to Dasmarinas, Cavite south of Metro Manila.
During the Japan-Philippines Summit held in Tokyo from October 30-31, 2017, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Japan’s commitment to President Duterte to finance approximately JPY 600 billion of the subway’s project cost.