Getting around by train isn’t exactly a walk in the park around these parts. This may change, though, if the upcoming Metro Manila Subway project turns out to be everything the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is making it out to be.
Now, Japan is lending our country another helping hand. The Japanese Embassy announced yesterday that its government is loaning the Philippines an additional 253.3 billion Japanese yen (over P111 billion) in funding for the Metro Manila Subway.
The loan is the second tranche signed between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippine Department of Finance. The first, amounting to 104.53 billion yen (around P46 billion), was signed back in March 2018.
Metro Manila Subway receives funding from Japan
The DOTr has ordered 240 train cars for the upcoming Metro Manila subway
The Philippine government also currently has a P367-billion contract with the Sumitomo Corporation and the Japan Transport Engineering Company joint venture for the “design, supply, installation, construction, testing, and commissioning” of train sets.
In a statement, Japanese ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa said that tunnel boring machines from his home country will begin excavation work for the Metro Manila Subway project in the second quarter of 2022.
“The Metro Manila Subway will serve as one driving force to revitalize the Philippine economy. Filipinos can count on Japan to continuously extend our utmost support until this project is successfully completed,” the diplomat added.
Japan, as we all know, is a nation that knows a thing or two about efficient rail transport. That said, we’re crossing our fingers that the Metro Manila Subway is the light at the end of the tunnel Filipino commuters have been waiting for. Pun intended.