Phl, Japan sign loan pact to finance MRT rehabilitation

In a significant move to enhance transportation infrastructure, the Department of Finance said the Philippines and Japan have inked a loan agreement worth JPY17.4 billion (approximately $130 million) to finance the comprehensive rehabilitation of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Sakamoto Takema, the Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency in the Philippines signed the agreement on Friday.

Originally approved by the National Economic and Development Authority Board on August 22, 2018, the project seeks to address the ongoing challenges faced by the MRT 3.

Under the rehabilitation plan, provisions for capacity expansion include upgrading the rolling stock, rail tracks, signaling system, power supply system, overhead catenary system, communications system, and depot and station equipment.

The additional scope of work submitted by the Department of Transportation led to an increase in the total project cost to P29.6 billion, prompting the approval of the JPY17.4 billion (approximately US$130 million) supplemental loan by the NEDA Board on 2 February 2023.

With the loan agreement signed, Japan’s total loan net commitment now stands at around US$10.3 billion, reflecting a total ODA commitment of $10.5 billion.

In the first quarter of 2023, JICA already signed two loans totaling JPY377 billion ($2.8 billion) for critical projects such as the North-South Commuter Railway Project (Phase I) (II) and the NSCR Extension Project (II).

The ceremonial signing of the loan agreement was witnessed by DOTr Undersecretary Reinier Paul Yebra, Assistant Secretary Jorjette B. Aquino, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan to the Philippines Matsuda Kenichi, and Economic Minister Nihei Daisuke.

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