The Philippines and Japan have advanced their cooperation efforts to improve transport infrastructure in Metro Manila through a road map aimed to establish a modern and efficient transportation network under the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metropolitan Manila and its Surrounding Areas.
The Cooperation Roadmap for Quality Infrastructure Development in the Transport Sector in Metropolitan Manila Area is intended to steer the development programs and projects, as well as harmonize efforts on transport projects in Metro Manila. It is also meant to guide the development of policies, design, and prioritization of transport-related projects in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
As part of the joint declaration for strengthened strategic partnership signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during President Aquino’s state visit to Japan in June 2015, a “Cooperation Roadmap” called for the convening of a ministerial-level committee, which held its first meeting recently to review the progress of projects assisted by Japan.
The meeting, co-chaired by Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa, involved discussions on studies being undertaken by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the possible implementation of the Mega Manila Subway and New Manila International Airport projects.
Also tackled were the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project, the Exchange of Notes and Loan Agreement for which were signed on 25 August 2015, and the North-South Commuter Railway Project (Malolos – Tutuban), the exchange of notes and loan agreement signing for which are expected to be signed in the near future.