PH railways sector on track, Bautista tells Japan PM

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (second from right) together with Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista (second from left), on November 4 visited the Metro Manila Subway Project at the Valenzuela depot with two huge tunnel boring machines digging hundreds of meters of tunnel. Screengrab from Department of Transportation video.
  • Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the Philippine railways sector is “on track”, with the country living up to its commitments
  • Bautista cited Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as a “long-time” supporter of PH rail expansion
  • The Japanese PM was to have visited the subway project depot and train simulator room in Valenzuela City on November 4

The Philippine railways sector is “on track”, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista assured Japanese Prime Minister (PM) Fumio Kishida, who was on a two-day state visit in the Philippines until November 4.

“The Philippine side has lived up to its commitments, and we are on track to deliver what we promised,” Bautista said in a statement.

Nine transport projects–two in aviation, two in maritime, and five in rail–benefit from P1.503 billion in Japanese aid. The five railway projects are the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension, LRT Line 2 East Extension, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 Rehabilitation and Maintenance, North-South Commuter Rail System, and Metro Manila Subway Project.

The transport chief described Kishida as a “long-time” supporter of the country’s rail expansion.

“The Philippine railways sector has been a recipient of billions of pesos in Japanese aid,” Bautista said.

Kishida visited the subway project depot and its train simulator room located in Valenzuela City on November 4.

“PM Kishida, long before he was Prime Minister, has been instrumental in funneling Japanese assistance to the country’s ambitious rail expansion,” he added, noting that Kishida supported the Philippines’ transportation system modernization since his tenure as Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister in 2017.

He described Kishida as a “tireless cheerleader for Philippine progress,” emphasizing his commitment to the country’s rail projects.

“To us, Prime Minister Kishida has always been a member of the Philippine railways team. He’s all aboard.”

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