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Metro subway a priority for Japanese financing

access_time 12-05-2017, 17:22 chat_bubble_outline 32 views
Metro subway a priority for Japanese financing

Slide presented at the "Dutertenomics" forum on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 where President Rodrigo Duterte's top officials introduced planned construction projects including a Mega Manila Subway system. DOTr/Released

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government informed the Japan that the Mega Manila Subway and the Manila-Clark Railway projects topped its list of infrastructures to be financed by Tokyo through official development assistance (ODA).

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso that topping Philippine list of proposed projects to be financed by Japanese ODA were the subway system in Mega Manila and the Manila-Clark Railway Project.

Dominguez and the Japanese officials met in Yokohama, Japan on the sidelines of the recently-concluded 50th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finalize the commitments on the projects to be funded by the ¥1-trillion financing package promised by Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, to the Philippines.

The finance ministers of Manila and Tokyo, who co-chaired the 20th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) + 3 (China, Japan, South Korea) meeting in the Japanese port city, highlighted the importance of the proposed infrastructure projects to the Philippine economy especially in their ability to spur job creation and development.

Aso also briefly discussed with Dominguez Tokyo’s proposed bilateral currency swap arrangements with ASEAN.

This could provide Southeast Asian countries up to $40 billion in currency swap arrangements, based on Aso’s proposal.

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Manila’s other priorities are projects in railway, irrigation and public works infrastructures covering road and flood management.

Aside from these, Dominguez also submitted projects in public works, energy and industrial zone development as possible candidates for Japanese financing.

The first phase of the subway system, which will connect Quezon City and Taguig City, is expected to be finished by 2024. The system is expected to service around 350,000 passengers daily once it becomes operational.

Based on initial reports, the proposed 13 stations of the subway system are along:

Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas and Katipunan in Quezon City

Ortigas North and Ortigas South in Pasig City

Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City

Bonifacio Global City, Cayetano Boulevard and Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) in Taguig

and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City

The first meeting of the joint committee followed the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan last year and the visit of Abe to the Philippines early this year.

At the conclusion of the 50th ADB meeting, Dominguez assumed the chairmanship of ADB Board of Governors for the financial institution’s 51st Annual Meeting to be held in the Philippines in 2018.

Weeks ago, the Philippine government presented its P8.4-trillion massive infrastructure plan that aimed to build airports, roads, railways and other big-ticket projects in different parts of the country.

The government aims to finance these projects through a combination of foreign assistance and domestic revenues to be raised by its tax reform package. However, the tax reform program of the government is still being deliberated at the House of Representatives.

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