Jica says this is the largest loan it has ever granted for a single project. The 40-year loan has an interest rate of 0.1% for non-consultancy services and 0.01% for consultancy services and includes a grace period of 10 years.
The project will be implemented as a public-private partnership in two phases. Phase 1 entails the construction of a 36.7km railway from the existing Tutuban station in Manila north to Malolos. Phase 2 involves upgrading the existing 478km 1067mm-gauge line from Manila south to Calamba and Legaspi.
A pre-qualification conference for Phase 2 was held in August with a view to starting construction in 2017. The whole project is expected to be completed in 2020.