FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. signed the second-tranche loan agreement with Japan Tuesday for the financing of the Metro Manila Subway’s Phase 1.

Mr. Locsin signed the agreement with Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko for the loan, valued at about P115.7 billion. The financing was provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

“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” Mr. Locsin said.

The Metro Manila Subway is a flagship infrastructure program and will be implemented in two phases, with 15 stations due to be built.

The first phase of the 25.3-kilometer subway connecting the north and south of Metro Manila will run from Mindanao Avenue in Valenzuela City to the FTI compound in Taguig City, with a spur connecting to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The subway will also interconnect with major rail lines operated by the Philippine National Railways to Clark and Calamba, as well as to the light rail common station in Quezon City.

“It is fitting that this signing takes place as we commemorate this year the 65th Anniversary of the Normalization of our Diplomatic Relations and the 10th year of our Bilateral Strategic Partnership,” Mr. Locsin said.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by representatives from the Departments of Finance and Transportation and the National Economic and Development Authority.

Japan is the Philippines’ top provider of Official Development Assistance. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan