SAN MIGUEL Corp.’s (SMC) infrastructure unit has a P100-billion loan that is expected to hasten the construction of the Metro Rail Transit 7 (MRT-7) project.

“The fund, which reached financial close last June 1, will help further speed up the construction of MRT-7, which is at 61.92% completion as of June 14,” the company said in a press release.

Data from the Public-Private Partnership Center showed that the cost of the MRT-7 project is P77 billion. The train system will have 14 stations.

The company said the closed syndicated loan agreement was between SMC Infrastructure and a consortium of Philippine banks: BDO Unibank, Inc., Philippine National Bank (PNB), Bank of Commerce (BankCom), Security Bank Corp., and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

“We are grateful to our lenders as this facility will allow us to remain on track to meeting our target to start operations in 2025 bringing us closer to a future where Filipinos can reap the benefits of enhanced mobility and accessibility,” SMC President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ramon S. Ang said.

MRT-7, which will run from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, is expected to carry 300,000 passengers daily in its first year, and up to 850,000 passengers a day in its 12th year.

“With this project, we are truly proud to enable a convenient, alternative means of transportation that will help commuters from Quezon City to Bulacan to have more time for work, family, and recreation,” Security Bank President and CEO Sanjiv Vohra said in the press release.

GSIS President and General Manager Jose Arnulfo A. Veloso said: “state involvement in infrastructure projects plays a crucial role in establishing a robust economy.”

“SMC’s investments in various infrastructure projects boost the economy as these initiatives facilitate improved connectivity between regions and communities, positively impacting trade, tourism, and overall social integration,” said BDO Capital & Investment Corp. President Eduardo V. Francisco.

Cenon C. Audencial, Jr., PNB institutional banking head and executive vice-president, said: “SMC helps provide job opportunities for Filipinos and make the country more industrially competitive. Infrastructure investments are a step towards economic recovery and growth, and nation-building.”

BankCom President and CEO Michelangelo R. Aguilar said infrastructure projects such as the MRT-7 are crucial in nation-building.

“As SMC Infrastructure continues to strengthen its portfolio and operate the largest infrastructure network in the country, the lives of thousands of Filipinos are made better through safe, sustainable, and accessible transport systems,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile