SFA, Japan envoy exchange notes for MM Subway Project Phase 1


SECRETARY of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. and Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa on July 27 signed and exchanged documents formalizin­g the second tranche of the loan for the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1.

The Japanese government is extending a loan worth ¥253-billion, or approximat­ely $2.3 billion, through the Japan Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n Agency for the realizatio­n of the first subway in the country. The current loan caps over the ¥1-trillion aid package promised by then-prime minister Shinzo Abe to President Duterte during the former’s visit to the Philippine­s in January 2017.

The Metro Manila Subway Project is a flagship project of the Build, Build, Build infrastruc­ture program of the current administra­tion, which aims to revitalize Philippine economy and developmen­t by providing a safe, fast and reliable mass transport system. The first phase of the 25.3-kilometer subway connecting the northern and southern portions of Metro Manila will run from Mindanao Avenue in Valenzuela City, through the FTI in Taguig City, and end at the Ninoy Aquino Internatio­nal Airport in Parañaque City, effectivel­y decongesti­ng traffic and connecting major business centers in Metro Manila.

“The Metro Manila subway will be a shining monument—better yet, a state-of-the-art working system attesting to the deep friendship between the Philippine­s and Japan” said Locsin. “It is fitting that this signing takes place as we commemorat­e this year the 65th anniversar y of the normalizat­ion of our diplomatic relations, and the tenth year of our bilateral strategic partnershi­p.”

The signing ceremony was witnessed by representa­tives from the Department of Finance, Department of Transporta­tion, as well as the National Economic and Developmen­t Authority.

Japan is the Philippine­s’s top overseas developmen­t assistance partner, with its long history of support for local developmen­t priorities spanning infrastruc­ture, health, human resources, agricultur­e, education, humanitari­an assistance and disaster relief, among many others.

 ?? DFA-OPCD/PHILIP FERNANDEZ ?? LOCSIN (left) and Koshikawa

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