The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to provide a JPY167.199bn ($1.53bn) loan for a rail project in Metropolitan Manila, the Philippines.

The agency signed an agreement with the Government of the Philippines to provide an official development assistance (ODA) loan for the North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project.

Co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the extension project is expected to bolster urban transportation and reduce air pollution in and around Manila.

The project involves extending the North-South Commuter Railway to Clark International Airport in Pampanga Province in the north and to Calamba of Laguna Province in the south.

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“The extension project is expected to bolster urban transportation and reduce air pollution in and around Manila.”

The loan will be used to procure rolling stock, a railway system and consulting services, while the ADB assistance will be utilised for civil works.

Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) will be applicable to the Japanese ODA loan for the project. STEP refers to a set of assistance requirements involved in the transfer of Japanese technology and related expertise.

The North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project is scheduled to be completed in September 2025.

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JICA signed another agreement to support the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project to prevent floods in the Metropolitan Manila region.

In November, JICA awarded a $330m loan for the Manila Metro Rail Transit System.

The funding was intended for rehabilitation works on the Manila Metro Rail Transit System, also known as Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT Line 3).