PH, Japan sign $202-M loan accord for Mindanao road project
Philippine and Japanese officials signed here Tuesday (June 18) an agreement providing the Philippines with USD202.04-million loan from Japan to finance the construction and improvement of roads in Mindanao’s conflict-affected areas, including the war-torn city of Marawi.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in a statement on Wednesday the loan (equivalent to 21.92 billion yen), which will cover several road sites in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, aims to reinvigorate local economies and reduce poverty in its communities by linking them to Mindanao’s trade centers, thus improving accessibility and the smooth flow of goods and services to and from these areas.
Signing the loan accord for the Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (RNDP) were Dominguez on behalf of the Philippines and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Vice President Yasushi Tanaka on behalf of the Japanese government.
This agreement was signed at the conclusion of the 8th meeting of the Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation held at the Marriot Clark Hotel here.
The loan amount includes funding for consulting services and civil works that will involve the construction and improvement of about 176.6 kilometers (km) of access roads, including 19.8 km of the Marawi Ring Road and 23 km of the Marawi Trans-Central Road, according to JICA.
Besides inking this new loan agreement, Dominguez said Japanese and Philippine officials also committed to work towards the signing within this year of a supplemental loan for the ongoing Davao City Bypass Construction Project, and three more loan accords for the New Mactan Bridge Construction Project in Cebu, the second phase of the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project, and the second tranche loan for the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project.
Chairing the Philippine side during the meeting were Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, while Dr. Hiroto Izumi, special advisor to Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, led the Japanese delegation.