Philippines to secure first tranche of loan from Japan for subway line

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The Philippines is targeting to secure next month an initial loan line from Japan for the construction of the country’s first subway line, as the two countries reinforce economic ties during a joint meeting yesterday in Cebu City.

In a statement, the Department of Finance (DoF) said both economies “are looking forward to the signing of the first tranche of the loan for the Metro Manila Subway Project (Phase I) by March 2018.”

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Socieconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia represented the Philippines during the latest meeting of the Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation at Shangri-La Mactan.

Hiroto Izumi, a special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, led the delegation from Tokyo. This is the fourth meeting held by the two parties since March 2017.

The subway plan aims to build a 25-kilometer underground rail system that will connect Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque. Construction is expected to cost P355.6 billion, higher than the previous estimate of P227 billion. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez