Manila’s metro project has secured a third loan from Japan’s international development fund, this time borrowing $1bn for the 33km urban rail project. 

The Philippines Department of Finance will manage the funds, which have been agreed with Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (Jica). The total agreed Jica funding to the Filipino project now stands at $3.3bn with two further borrowing arrangements under discussion. 

The Department said each loan has a maturity period of 40 years, including 10+ year grace periods for each arrangement. 

The network, from Valenzuela to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), connecting 17 stations and a depot, will be the first mass underground transport system in the Philippines.

With completion now set for 2029, two years later than the original plan, the line is expected to carry as many as 800,000 passengers per day when fully operational. 

Tunnel excavation commenced in January 2023. The tunnelling work involves the construction of six underground tunnels with a total length of 9.5km with an inner diameter of 6.1m. The project will use up to six earth pressure balance tunnel boring machines (TBMs).

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Japanese firms are involved in construction, with a joint venture by Shimizu, Fujita, Takenaka Civil Engineering and EEI, taking the contract for the design and construction of tunnels and three stations.