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Japan to lend Philippines $2b for rail project

Updated: 2015-08-06 15:28

MANILA - Japan has vowed to provide loan to the Philippines worth 240-billion yen (about $2 billion) for a commuter rail project, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario received the pledge for the official development assistance (ODA) package for the North-South Commuter Rail Project Phase 1 during a meeting with Japan's State Minister of Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi on Wednesday on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The pledge followed commitment of the Japanese government in firming up its cooperation with the Philippines for the said project as part of the Philippine-Japan "Cooperation Roadmap for Quality Infrastructure Development in the Transport Sector in Metropolitan Manila Area," which was agreed upon during President Benigno S. Aquino III's state visit to Japan in June.

The rail project is poised to be the single-biggest ODA loan package to date that Japan has given any development partner, the DFA said.

The project, which the Department of Transportation and Communication will implement, involves the construction of a 36.7- kilometer narrow-gauge elevated commuter railway from Malolos in northern province of Bulacan to Tutuban in Manila.

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