THE Philippine Railways Sector has assured Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has long supported the Philippines’ ambitious rail expansion, that progress of development is still on track for completion.
In a statement, Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista also praised PM Kishida, who hails from a country “with 150 years of experience in rail development, with 30,000 kilometers of rail, with 25 billion riders a year.”
“There are no better senseis than these kind, compassionate, generous, hardworking and honest people,” Sec. Bautista said, calling PM Kishida a “tireless cheerleader for Philippine progress.”
“The Philippine railways sector has been a recipient of billions of pesos in Japanese aid. PM Kishida, long before he was Prime Minister, has been instrumental in funneling Japanese assistance to the country’s ambitious rail expansion,” the Philippine transport chief added.
Sec. Bautista noted that when Prime Minister Kishida was still Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister in 2017, “he was already a backer of our country’s drive to modernize our transportation system.”
“To us, Prime Minister Kishida has always been a member of the Philippine railways team. He’s all aboard,” he said.
About nine Philippine big-ticket transport projects–two aviation, two maritime, five railways–are being built or will be delivered on the back of JPY 1.315 trillion worth of Japanese aid.
The five railway projects are identified as the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension, LRT Line 2 East Extension, MRT Line 3 Rehabilitation and Maintenance, North-South Commuter Rail System and Metro Manila Subway Project.
Prime Minister Kishida is scheduled to visit the subway project depot and its train simulator room located in Valenzuela City on Saturday, November 4.
Civil works are ongoing for the 33-km Metro Manila Subway Project. With 17 stations, the project is set to reduce travel time between Valenzuela City and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 from 1 hour and 30 minutes to 35 minutes.
The Japanese leader, Sec. Bautista said, “would be happy to know that the Philippine side has lived up to its commitments, that despite challenges, we are on track to what we have committed to deliver.”