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Recto secures financing agreements for 2 big-ticket infra projects with JICA to drive inclusive growth for Filipinos

Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto has secured financing agreements with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for two big-ticket infrastructure projects under President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s Build Better More program that will help drive inclusive growth for all Filipinos.

“Infrastructure investments have the highest multiplier effect on the economy. As for every peso invested in new infrastructure, two pesos and thirty centavos are infused into the national economy,” he said in his speech at the ceremonial signing of the loan agreements on March 26, 2024, at the JICA Philippine Office in Makati.

“[T]he projects not only enhance mobility but also improve the lives of our people through the creation of more jobs and businesses. They will be the engines driving economic growth and dispersing the fruits of modernization to every corner of the country,” the Finance Chief said.

Secretary Recto, on behalf of the Philippine Government, and JICA Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto signed the loan agreement for the third tranche of financing for the Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) Phase 1, worth JPY 150 billion (about PHP 55 billion).

With a total project cost of PHP 488.48 billion, the MMSP Phase 1 is the country’s first-ever underground mass transport system and the third biggest project under the Marcos, Jr. administration’s Build Better More program.

It involves the construction of a Depot and a 33-kilometer railway system consisting of 17 stations that shall connect Valenzuela City to Bicutan with a branch line going to NAIA Terminal 3 in Paranaque City.

Once operational in 2029, the subway will reduce travel time from Valenzuela to NAIA from 1 hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes and can accommodate 519,000 passengers per day on full operations.

Aside from the recently signed third tranche of financing, the MMSP Phase 1 is being supported by two active loan agreements with JICA, namely the first tranche worth JPY 104.53 billion (about PHP 38.81 billion), which was signed on March 16, 2018; and the second tranche worth JPY 253.31 (about PHP 94.05 billion), which was inked on February 10, 2022.

Meanwhile, the officials also signed the loan agreement for