September 08, 2017

Philippines approves expanded Manila metro project

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THE Philippines National Economic and Development Authority’s (Neda) Investment Coordination Cabinet Committee (ICC-Cabcom) has approved the first phase of the Japanese-funded Mega Manila Subway Project (MMSP) albeit at a higher cost and with a modified scope from the original plan.

The Department of Transportation recommended that the plan for the new line, which will run north-south from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City, was extended to include a station at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The project also includes the construction of a 28-hectare training centre and depot.

The initial phase requires an investment of Pesos 355.6bn ($US 7bn), up from the original estimate of Peso 227bn. Funding for the project will come from a official development assistance loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) at an interest rate of 0.1% paid over 40 years, with a grace period of 12 years.

Contractors are expected to break ground on the project in mid 2018, and the line is expected to be completed in mid 2025.

“The first phase of the MMSP will not only ease traffic in Metro Manila, but also improve the quality of life for Filipinos,” say Mr Ernesto Pernia, socioeconomic planning secretary. “For one, carbon emissions will be reduced. And with greater mobility, people can spend more time on things that matter to them.”

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