Japan signs supplemental loan for bridges project in Metro Manila
Japan signed with the Philippines a supplemental loan for bridges project in Metro Manila on Thursday.
Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsion Jr. inked the exchange of notes for the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project Phase II after their bilateral meeting at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.
The exchange of notes involved the additional 4.409 billion yen loan and extension of the project implementation.
The original loan amount of the project whose agreement was signed on Aug. 25, 2015 was 9.783 billion yen.
"The cost increase is due to changes in construction technology to be applied onto Guadalupe Bridge, the need for temporary detour bridges in Guadalupe, and the need for additional work shifts to the construction period, among others," the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
It said Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is providing a supplemental loan amount of 4.409 billion yen.
The implementation of the project will be extended by one year and eight months until August 2023.
It aims to improve the resilience of two major bridges, Lambingan Bridge and Guadalupe Bridge, through the incorporation of improved seismic bridge design specifications.
The project supports the integrity of the Philippines arterial road network, which contributes to secure and more sustainable economic and social development in Metro Manila, and enhances resilience in case of large scale earthquakes in the National Capital Region.
"In order to help boost the economic growth in the Philippines, Japan strongly supports the Build, Build, Build program by the Philippine government," Motegi said during the joint press statement.
In particular, he said Japan will support Manila in the field of railways, which is being revived "towards easing traffic jam in Metro Manila."
Motegi said Tokyo wishes to cooperate with the Philippine "by leveraging on our knowledge in responding to natural disasters which is a common challenge for both our countries" as he expressed his heartfelt condolences for the families of those who perished in the series of earthquakes that struck parts of Mindanao late last year.
Locsin, for his part, welcomed Motegi's "pledge of continued, substantial financial and technical support under the most concessional terms as only Japan can offer as the Duterte administration goes into the final push" in its infrastructure drive.
He noted that this is "an era" that the people will see the revival of the "age of rail" in the Philippines, beginning with the Japanese-funded first subway and the North-South Commuter Railway. Celerina Monte/DMS