During the official visit of Filipino Cabinet officials in Tokyo last March 27, the Philippines and Japan have agreed to do at least three mega infrastructure including three major rail projects.
Under the agreement, a speed train connecting Subic, Zambales and Clark, Pampanga, commuter rail connecting Tutuban, Manila and Los Baños, Laguna and Metro Manila Subway System would be completed.
The Japanese government has pledged to finance the said projects along with other 11 infrastructure projects proposed for loans and grants amounting to $8.8 billion.
According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, the three priority projects were the $4.3 billion initial phase of the Metro Manila subway system connecting FTI in Taguig City to the SM North Edsa and Trinoma malls in Quezon City; the $2.7 billion commuter line extending to Los Baños, Laguna, the south line of the North-South railway project, and the $1.9 billion high-speed rail extending to the soon-to-rise Clark Green City of the North-South Commuter Railway connecting Tutuban in Manila and Malolos, Bulacan.
Pernia added that most of the projects to be funded by Japan were intended to spread development to other areas aside from Metro Manila to alleviate the capital’s congestion problems.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged 1 trillion Yen of official development assistance (ODA) and private sector investments aimed at creating business opportunities in the Philippines over the next five years.
NEDA Undersecretary Rolando G. Tungpalan said more projects in cooperation with Japan will be revealed when Japanese officials are in the country for the Association of Southeast Nation (ASEAN) 50th Anniversary Celebration in November.