Japan to help fund 6 of 13 new infra projects



By Rose de la Cruz

 

 

The Japanese government said it would help fund almost half or 6 of the 13 new and approved infrastructure projects of the Duterte administration.

 

 “Japan is one of our long-time and most trusted development partners. We recognize their commitment to technical excellence in infrastructure,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said during last week’s 36th Joint Meeting of the Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation Committee of the Philippines and Japan.


Of the six new projects, the total cost of which amounts to around P715 billion, five are related to transportation while one is related to flood management.


“Our focus on the transportation sector is part of the bigger mission to decongest Metro Manila, and bring development to the regions, which is embedded in our National Spatial Strategy,” Pernia said.


In view of the JICA study’s estimated P3.5 billion losses brought about by traffic in Metro Manila, Pernia said the government is acting to ease traffic congestion in the mega cities of the country.


“This estimated economic loss in daily traffic is massive, and we must act fast. We are looking at this problem in a comprehensive way. We recognize that transportation is the enabler and driver of socioeconomic development, that is why we have the National Transport Policy approved by the NEDA Board.” Pernia said.


Guided by this policy, the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Transport Planning and the NEDA Board Cluster on Infrastructure will review plans, projects, and programs for the long-term development of the transport sector, he added.


The government’s transport vision is “a safe, secure, reliable, efficient, integrated, intermodal, affordable, cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and people-oriented national transport system that ensures improved quality of life of the people,” Pernia stressed.

 

He reiterated that infrastructure is crucial. It is a sine qua non in development. “What we aim is an infrastructure boom that serves not just the economy but, more importantly, the Filipino people,” Pernia said.


Aside from the six new projects that will be funded by Japan, seven new projects will be funded with assistance from other ODA partners.

 

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