All systems go for major railway project
The Philippine and Japanese governments have signed another multibillion loan agreement for the biggest railway project under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
The P80.47-billion loan agreement to kickstart construction of the 109-km North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) extension project was signed on Monday by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) director general Shigenori Ogawa.
The loan represented the first tranche of a P488-billion official development assistance (ODA) for the entire P777-billion NSCR system.
The project, which will begin construction this February, will be jointly funded by Jica and Asian Development Bank.
Transport Undersecretary for Rails TJ Batan said the NSCR was one of three Japan-funded infrastructure railway projects.
He identified the other two as the Metro Manila Subway and the P18-billion Metro Rail Transit 3 rehabilitation project set to start next month.
“With this third Jica loan agreement, we can say that our Japan-funded railway projects under ‘Build, Build, Build’ are now fully funded,” Batan said.
The two-part extension (Clark and Calamba) will extend NSCR Phase 1 (Tutuban to Malolos) by 53 and 56 km, respectively.
It was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority on Nov. 15.
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