3 major railway projects may be ‘substantially completed’ before Marcos’ term ends -- DOTr chief | Inquirer News

3 major railway projects may be ‘substantially completed’ before Marcos’ term ends — DOTr chief

/ 11:32 AM August 15, 2022

Senators expressed their preference to Japan over China in the construction of the country’s railway projects.

MANILA, Philippines — Three big-ticket railway projects may be “substantially completed” before President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. steps down from office in 2028, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said on Monday.

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These projects are the Subic-Clark Railway Project, the Philippine National Railways South Long-Haul Project, and the Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway Project.

“Six years may not be enough, but I think if we start it and we do it right, we should be able to substantially complete the project before the term of President Bongbong ends,” Bautista said on ANC Headstart.

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The three rail projects were supposed to be legacies of former President Rodrigo Duterte and were funded under China’s official development assistance through loan deals.

The government, however, later scrapped the loan deals.

According to Bautista, the interest rate, among other reasons, stalled the projects’ development.

China’s interest rate is 3 percent, while Japan’s is at 0.01 percent.

“I think one of the issues that really stalled the project is the interest rate or loans,” said Bautista.

Bautista added that they are not limiting their options to China and may consider working with Japan.

As Japan’s interest rate is lower, senators expressed their preference for Japan over China on the three rail projects.

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TAGS: DoTr, Jaime Bautista, Railway
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