PHL readies 3 priority infra projects for Japanese financing

MANILA, March 30 (PNA) -- The Philippine government is seeking Japanese funding of three priority infrastructure projects worth USD 8.82 billion, including the Mega Manila subway line which will run from Taguig City to North Edsa to Ortigas.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters the feasibility study for the USD 4.3-billion subway project will be completed in September and it is intended for signing when President Rodrigo Duterte meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the ASEAN Summit here in November.

Pernia said construction works for the subway project is expected to begin next year and will be completed in about three years.

He said the other two projects lined up for Japanese financing are the USD 2.67-billion commuter line running from Tutuban in Tondo to Los Banos, Laguna; and the USD 1.9-billion speed train from Malolos to Clark, Pampanga.

Except for the subway in Metro Manila, the railways are expected to disperse development away from Metro Manila. There are 11 more (projects) in our list that will follow the (three) flagship projects, said Pernia, also Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Pernia said the 14 infrastructure projects were discussed by the Cabinet delegation with the Japanese government during their meeting on March 27 to 28 in Tokyo, Japan.

The Tokyo meeting was the first under the Joint Committee on Philippines-Japan Infrastructure and Economic Cooperation.

Prime Minister Abe pledged 1 trillion yen (USD 8.9 billion) aid package for the Philippines to promote economic and infrastructure development over the next five years.

In the next two years, we are really ramping up investments, said NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan, noting the country's goal to raise infrastructure spending as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) from 5 to 7 percent to above 7 percent.

Tungpalan said the other 11 infrastructure projects targeted for Japanese funding include those in the transportation sector, irrigation and water supply.

We would like to get a larger portion of the 1 trillion yen. Several projects are lined up, not just a wish list but a list that we will be working on with the Japanese within the plan period 2017-2022, he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency