The Philippines and Japan have reached a deal to rehabilitate and maintain Manila’s Metro Rail Transit (MRT), which has been plagued by reliability and capacity problems. The rail reportedly suffered from at least 500 disruptions last year.
Phillippine Department of Transportation (DOTr) undersecretary for railways TJ Batan said on Tuesday that Japan has committed to offer development assistance through a loan agreement, according to a report in the Inquirer.
“The arrangement with Japan involves obtaining Official Development Assistance (ODA) financing under Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP),” Batan was quoted as saying in a statement.
Procurement of a Japan-nominated maintenance provider will be done in accordance with JICA’s guidelines, Batan said.
The new arrangement comes after the DOTr dropped Korean-Filipino Busan Universal Rail as a maintenance service provider last October.