Mas mabilis: Dominguez drops MVP in favor of Japan for ‘fast, sure’ MRT rehab
The loan deal was signed in under three months.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III took a sudden turn as he signed a new loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for funding to rehabilitate the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3), which has long been plagued by poor service.
Dominguez and JICA senior vice president Yasushi Tanaka signed the loan contract worth 38.1 billion yen, or roughly P19 billion. This will partly cover the P21.96 billion needed to replace all of the train’s worn-out tracks, upgrade its obsolete signaling system, and cover the general overhaul of 72 train coaches which are already 15 years old.
The loans are cheap with an interest rate of 0.10 percent per annum for non-consulting services and 0.01 percent per annum for consulting services. The amount is payable in 40 years, inclusive of a 12-year grace period.
Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan has said he would like the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. to takeover the railway line until authorities whipped up this new deal.
Dominguez said they preferred the official development assistance route as it was “fast and sure.” The loan was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in August, and it was signed 77 days later.