Philippines, Japan sign loan agreement for North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project
The Philippines and Japan signed the loan agreement for the 109-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Extension Project Monday.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Japan international Cooperation Agency (JICA) Director General Shigenori Ogawa signed the agreement. This was witnessed by Minister of the Embassy of Japan Atsushi Kuwabara and Transport Undersecretary for Rails Timothy John Batan and other government officials.
The total loan financing agreement for this projected is estimated at P488 billion (about $9.34 billion) which will be co-financed between JICA and the Asian Development Bank, said Dominguez in his speech.
''The loan agreement signed today amounting to P80.47 billion ( approximately $1.54 billion) represents the first tranche of the total JICA commitment for the project," said Dominguez.
The project is part of the 147 kilometer NSCR system approved last November 15 2018 by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Batan said with this project ''four hour commutes will be a thing of the past.''
'' Parents will have more time to spend with their children, and they can bring their kids to school and still make it in time for work,'' said Batan in his speech.
Batan said the NSCR ''is the Philippine government's largest railway investment to-date.''. He added that it is the second largest railway project that JICA had been involved in. The NSCR ''is also the largest railway project of the Asian Development
Bank after not having been involved in the Philippine railway sector since 1983.''
The system will integrate the 38-kilometer PNR Clark 1 from Tutuban to Malolos, the 53-kilometer PNR Clark 2 from Malolos to Clark International Airport and the 56-kilometer PNR Calamba from Solis to Calamba.
The system is expected to have a ridership of 340,000 passengers daily for its partial operation in 2022, increasing to 550,000 passengers daily when it becomes fully operational in 2023. DMS