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PH, Japan exchange notes on 2 major Metro Manila bridges projec

The Philippine and the Japanese government on Thursday have signed diplomatic notes for the additional financing of a project, which seeks to reinforce major bridges in Metro Manila against earthquakes.

Tokyo, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, will provide a supplemental loan amount of 4.409 billion Japanese yen (around PHP2 billion) for the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project (Phase II), which will rehabilitate the Guadalupe Bridge in Makati and the Lambingan Bridge in Manila.

With the exchange of notes, Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu is hopeful the additional yen credit would contribute to the country’s efforts to reinforce its infrastructure against earthquakes.

“Recently, several large-scale earthquakes struck various places in the Philippines such as Manila and Mindanao, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to those who have lost their lives, the victims, and their families,” he said after signing the diplomatic notes with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in Makati.

“Japan wishes to cooperate by leveraging on our knowledge in responding to natural disasters which is a common challenge for both our countries,” he added.

The original loan agreement amounting to 9.783 billion Japanese yen (around PHP4.5 billion) was signed on Aug. 25, 2015.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the current project responds to the increase in the total project cost and the extension of its implementation period by more than one year until August 2023.

The cost increase is due to changes in construction technology to be applied onto Guadalupe Bridge, the need for temporary detour bridges in Guadalupe, and the need for additional work shifts to the construction period, among others. (PNA)

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