The Philippine and Japanese governments on Monday signed two loan agreements amounting to P98.69 billion to finance rail and flood control projects in Luzon.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Shigenori Ogawa, the director-general of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, signed the agreement providing the Philippines with a P80.47-billion loan, which represents the first tranche of Japan’s total commitment in providing funding support for the North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project.
Dominguez and Ogawa also signed the P18.22-billion loan accord (about $351.8 million) for the fourth phase of the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project.
Dominguez said the signing was a positive result of the “fast and sure” approach adopted by the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte and Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The two projects were processed in a record time of two months after the board of the National Economic and Development Authority approved them in November.
“This is, by far, the fastest loan processing time in the history of Philippines-Japan bilateral cooperation. We would like to share the credit here with our counterparties, who espoused the same sense of urgency and trusted our commitment to get these projects done,” Dominguez said.
He also thanked the Japanese government for its generosity to the Philippines.
Ogawa said, “the cooperative relationship between the Philippines and Japan has become stronger year by year and I believe that these projects symbolize such strong ties between [our] two countries and between our people.”
The NSCR Extension Project forms part of the 147-kilometer NSCR System of the Philippine National Railways.