MANILA: Japan has announced to fund a massive $2.4 billion into a new railway in the Philippines
aimed at easing Manila’s notorious gridlock (World Business).
The 38-kilometre (24-mile) elevated commuter line would connect Manila to nearby Bulacan province to decongest the capital and help spur economic activity.
“This is one of the biggest projects Japan has ever embarked upon using the yen loan,” Masato Ohtaka, deputy press secretary for Japan’s foreign ministry, told reporters in Manila.
“Railways are one of our fortes … We sympathise with the Filipinos that this is a project that needs to be done very, very quickly.”
Ohtaka said Japan was also open to building a railway in the southern region of Mindanao, a project Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had previously said China offered to fund.
Manila’s traffic problems cost the Philippines an estimated $64 million a day in 2015, a Japanese-funded study found.