Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
August 20, 2022 | 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) hopes to keep China as the funder for three railways in Luzon and Mindanao, as it doubts whether Japan can finance additional infrastructure due to its exposure to big-ticket projects. In an interview on One News’ “The Chiefs” Thursday night, Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez said it may be difficult to pitch the railway projects supposed to be bankrolled by China to other financiers like Japan.

Japan, in particular, provides the funding for the P873.62-billion North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) as well as the P488.48-billion Metro Manila Subway Project .

“Japan has already exposed itself so much in the railway projects. Japan is funding the Manila to Malolos (segment of NSCR). Japan is also funding the rolling stocks and electromechanical of the NSCR, that’s huge. The total project cost of the Calamba to Clark, that’s 147 kilometers and another 35 stations, is P873 billion,” Chavez said.

“The ADB (Asian Development Bank) is already exposed, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)is already exposed. Japan is also funding the subway. It’s too much. Can Japan extend another P142 billion for the Bicol line?” he added.

China was supposed to bankroll the P50-billion Subic-Clark Railway Project, the P83-billion Mindanao Railway Phase 1 and the P142-billion PNR Bicol Package 1.