Japan has once again strengthened its commitment to helping the Philippines’ infrastructure development through the inking of a new loan agreement for the construction of the country’s first underground rail line. 

On February 10, Japan International Cooperation Agency Philippines Representative Azukisawa Eigo and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez signed the official development assistance (ODA) from the Japanese government.  

Photo from the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines

The first tranche of funding, which is worth ¥104.53 billion, was inked back in March 2018. 

According to Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko, this second tranche of funding for the Metro Manila Subway (MMS) is proof of Japan’s dedication to helping the country develop. 

“The Metro Manila Subway was first planned in the 1970s, but it remained a plan for about half a century. Through the strong push and determination of the Duterte administration, this “project of the century” is now steadily progressing. I am pleased that our tunnel boring machine will soon start excavating under the Metro Manila area in the 2nd quarter of this year,” he said. 

Kazuhiko also believes “the Metro Manila Subway will serve as one driving force to revitalize the Philippine economy,” assuring that “Filipinos can count on Japan to continuously extend our utmost support until this project is successfully completed.”

For those unaware, the MMS is among the flagship infrastructure projects under the administration’s Build, Build, Build program. This 17-station subway will connect Quezon City and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), reducing travel time from 70 minutes to only 35 minutes. 

It’s also poised to address congestion in Metro Manila, specifically on main thoroughfares.  

Want more news like this one? Head over to Nation Builder PH Infrastructure Section for the latest updates.

Image credit: DOTr’s Official Facebook Page