Philippines, Japan sign 2nd tranche of loan package for Metro Manila Subway project

Marje Pelayo   •   July 28, 2021   •   261

MANILA, Philippines —  Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko on Tuesday (July 27) signed the exchange of notes for the official development assistance (ODA) loan for the Metro Manila Subway project.

The loan was an additional amount of JPY253 billion or P116 billion loan package to finance the project’s construction.

This second tranche of the project’s ODA loan has an interest rate of 0.10% per annum, payable for 40 years with  a 13-year grace period.

This follows the first tranche amounting to JPY104.530 billion or around P64 billion of the ODA loan for the subway project.

The first tranche was signed on November 13, 2017.

“The Metro Manila Subway will be a shining monument, better yet a state of the art working system attesting to the deep friendship between the Philippines and Japan. Japan holds a pre-eminent role in our government’s infrastructure development agenda, which is a priority of President Duterte’s administration,” Secretary Locsin said.

Locsin lauded the cooperation of various government agencies in the project which include the Department of Finance (DOF); the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The signing of the agreement coincides with this year’s 65th Anniversary of the normalization of Diplomatic Relations and 10th Anniversary of Strategic Partnership between Japan and the Philippines.

“This signing will deepen and strengthen the cooperation and partnership of both countries, and I am happy to sign this Exchange of Notes today,” Ambassador Koshikawa said.

The 33-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project will have 17 stations and aims to cut travel time from North Avenue in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from 1 hour and 10 minutes to just 35 minutes.

It will traverse the cities of Valenzuela, Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque and Pasay.

The line will have an initial capacity of up to 1 million passengers per day.

The Metro Manila Subway system is a Build Build Build flagship infrastructure project of the Duterte Administration.

Two tunnel boring machines now on site for PH first Metro Manila Subway

Marje Pelayo   •   April 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The much awaited Metro Manila Subway project is expected to begin soon, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement on Monday, April 26.

The agency said two of the tunnel boring machines are already set up at the site for the job.

The DOTr said all parts of the mega equipment were completed on Thursday (April 22) at the stockyard in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

All minor parts and accessories, meanwhile, have been stored for safekeeping at the SFTE-JV Warehouse in Valenzuela City.

The DOTr expects the beginning of the actual boring for the Metro Manila Subway Project known as the ‘Project of the Century’ before the end of this year.

Locsin calls for restoration of ‘status quo ante’ in Myanmar amid military takeover

Marje Pelayo   •   February 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin on Tuesday (February 9) called for the “the complete restoration of the status quo ante” in Myanmar following military take over and detention of democratic leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a tweet, Locsin said “The Philippines has been supportive of Myanmar’s progress towards a fuller democracy.” 

“The realization of this democratic process can only be achieved through the complete restoration of the-status quo ante,” he added.

Police have responded against escalating violence in protests against the  military takeover of the government and the detention of the deposed civilian leader and other elected lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the DFA said it is preparing for the repatriation of 252 Filipinos who have signified interest to leave Myanmar.

Suu Kyi was arrested along with other democratically-elected lawmakers in a pre-dawn raid on February 1 by Myanmar military.

DOTr unveils tunnel boring machine’s cutter head for Metro Manila Subway project

Robie de Guzman   •   February 5, 2021


MANILA, Philippines –
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday unveiled the cutter head of the first tunnel boring machine that will be used for the partial operability section of the Metro Manila Subway project.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade presented in an event, the cutter head of the first tunnel boring machine dubbed “Kaunlaran.”

“The cutter head is the most substantial part of the TBM, weighing 74 tons. Its main purpose is to break, cut and grind rocks and soil by rotating its 36-piece disc cutter,” the DOTr said in a statement.

“This Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) symbolizes its name, “KAUNLARAN.” Today, as we applaud the coming of Kaunlaran, I ask you, join us in riding the TBM, and in riding the first Metro Subway because ito ‘ho ay paglakbay papunta sa KAUNLARAN,” Secretary Tugade said in his speech during the event.

“Mr. President, the Metro Manila Subway is one of the answers of DOTr in answering your clarion call of making the Filipino life comfortable. This TBM, and the five more that are coming, so that we achieve partial operability by December of this year, is our way of saying this morning: ‘Mr. President, we are committed to make the Filipino life comfortable,” he added.

According to DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, a fleet of 25 Japanese-made Tunnel Boring Machines will be utilized to further fast-track the roll out of the Metro Manila Subway project.

“To accelerate the construction of the Metro Manila Subway Project and to minimize road interference during construction, we will be using not just one but a fleet of 25 Japanese-made Tunnel Boring Machines or (TBMs),” Batan said.

The DOTr said that the arrival of the first TBM cutterhead also signals the continuous arrival of the other TBM equipment and materials.

The department said it expects to arrive this month the remaining parts of the machine which will then be transported at the site for assembly. This will be followed by the conduct of mandatory operational test prior to the lowering and main drive underground.

It is expected to be done in the third quarter of this year, the DOTr said.

The Metro Manila Subway Project is the first underground railway system in the country that will provide the most modern mass transportation in the National Capital Region (NCR), from Valenzuela City to Bicutan, Parañaque, and NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay, and will further stretch across North and South zones of the Greater Capital Region.

The project is in cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Committee (JICA).

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