PH, JICA sign loan deal for the country’s first metro-grade train system

PH, JICA sign loan deal for the country’s first metro-grade train system




Good news for the Philippines!

A big boost to its transport system and for the country’s progress in general.

The Philippines will be having its very own first metro grade train system, with the capacity to carry about one million passengers a day, by 2022.

(photo credit to owner)


The Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Director-General Shigenori Ogawa signed Monday the PHP80.47 billion loan agreement, which is the first tranche of Japan’s financing support for the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Extension Project.

The NSCR Extension Project of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) has three components, the 38-kilometer line from Manila to Malolos, Bulacan; the 53-km. line from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga; and the 56-km. line from Manila to Calamba, Laguna, all in all its a 147km extension project.

Under the Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program, its total cost is pegged at P628.42 Billion, making it by far the biggest combined project.

“The economic benefits of improved mobility for our commuters in this very large urban sprawl will far outweigh the total investment for this project,” Dominguez said. 

Dominguez in his speech in the signing ceremony said the government again adopted the “fast and sure” in the processing of the loan, including that of the PHP18.22-billion funding for the fourth phase of the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project, was done within two months.

“This is, by far, the fastest loan processing time in the history of Philippines-Japan bilateral cooperation. We would like to share the credit here with our counterparties, who espoused the same sense of urgency and trusted our commitment to get these projects done,” he said.

The Department of Transportation disclosed that initial operations of the rail system is targeted to be in 2022.

 Projected passengers during the initial runs is about 350,000 per day.

“But the railway can accommodate up to 1.1 million passengers per day,” Department of Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John Batan,said.

Country’s first metro-grade train system

PNR General Manager Junn Magno,explains that both the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) are metro-grade systems, but have lighter capacities. Since this particular train system in its full capacity can accommodate a million passengers a day in 2023, this will be the country’s first metro-grade train system.

“This is our first metro grade (rail) system, meaning it can reach one million in capacity. The capacity is there, passengers na lang ang kulang. (we just need the passengers),” he added.

Low interest rate

The Finance department disclosed that  the financing for the NSCR Extension has an interest rate of 0.1 percent per annum for non-consulting services and 0.01 percent per annum for consulting services.

It is repayable within 40 years, inclusive of a 12-year grace period.



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