MANILA— One hundred twenty new rolling stocks for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) are seen to help decongest Metro Manila and enhance the business climate in the country, a Japanese official said on Monday.
“Through the project, JICA aims to support the Philippines in accommodating growing demand for quality mass transport and job opportunities,” said Susumu Ito, chief representative of JICA Philippines office.
“The present administration’s thrust to usher in a ‘golden age of infrastructure’ could also mean a ‘golden age for investments’ in the Philippines,'” he added.
With this, Ito echoed JICA’s hopes to continue contributing to the Philippine economic growth “in a sustainable way through infrastructure development.”
The Department of Transportation has awarded the contract to supply said new rolling stocks to Mitsubishi Corporation, the latter is set to supply 120 cars, equivalent to 30 train sets, to LRT Line 1 beginning 2020 until 2022.
According to the Japanese agency, the said project is part of its JPY43,252 million ODA loan for ‘Capacity Enhancement of Mass Transit Systems in Metro Manila Project’ that aims to support quality transport infrastructure in the Philippines to help sustain the country’s robust economic growth.
The LRT Line 1 new rolling stocks will use Japanese technology and products while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Once completed, JICA said the new rolling stocks of LRT Line 1 can accommodate 1,388 passengers per train and more than double the number of running trains to 222.
JICA has supported quality transport infrastructure in the Philippines since the 1970s with 45 percent of its ODA loan portfolio channeled to supporting infrastructure even in the remotest areas.
The Philippines’ investments in transportation infrastructure are now in the works, with the approval recently of the Philippines’ first subway project to be assisted by JICA by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.
JICA mentioned that Metro Manila’s urban rail systems have been built since the mid-1980s, namely the LRT Line 1, MRT Line 3, and LRT Line 2 and transport demand has increased since.
It noted that shifting from road-based transport to rail-based mass transit could help ease the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila due to urbanization and population growth.