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Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has granted a $US 2 billion loan to fund the Philippines government's portion of the Manila North-South Commuter Rail PPP project.
Jica says this is the largest loan it has ever granted for a single project. The 40-year loan has an interest rate of 0.1% for non-consultancy services and 0.01% for consultancy services and includes a grace period of 10 years.
The project will be implemented as a public-private partnership in two phases. Phase 1 entails the construction of a 36.7km railway from the existing Tutuban station in Manila north to Malolos. Phase 2 involves upgrading the existing 478km 1067mm-gauge line from Manila south to Calamba and Legaspi.
A pre-qualification conference for Phase 2 was held in August with a view to starting construction in 2017. The whole project is expected to be completed in 2020.
The Philippine's Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), along with its attached agency, the Philippine National Railways (PNR), recently extended for the second time the deadline for the submission of qualification documents for the project.
The new deadline to submit qualification documents has been extended from 1 December 2015 to 1 February 2016. Previously the deadline had been extended from 15 October to 1 December.