MANILA, July 28 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine and Japanese governments have signed on Tuesday an additional JPY253-billion (PHP115.6 billion) loan that will finance the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway project.

The 25.3-kilometer Metro Manila Subway is a flagship project under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program supported by Tokyo through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Its first phase connecting North and South of Manila will span 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 additional funding, on top of the 104.53 billion Japanese yen loan inked in 2018, will finance the expansion of the original planning line to include two more stations in the project — a spur line to the NAIA and rail tracks that will also be used by the North-South Commuter Train.

“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,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said during the signing of exchange of notes with Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko.

“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,” he added.

The subway’s construction began in February 2019 and once finished, it will be the country’s first underground railway system.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by representatives from the Department of Finance, Department of Transportation, and the National Economic and Development Authority at the Department of Foreign Affairs office in Pasay City.  (MNS)

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