Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo signed and exchanged notes on January 28, 2011 at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City for an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan that will finance the improvement of nationwide arterial roads and will strengthen the road maintenance and management capability of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The signing and exchanging of notes officially marked the appropriation of approximately 40.8 billion yen (approximately 21.4 billion pesos) from the Government of Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for the “Road Upgrading and Preservation Project”. With an interest rate of 1.4% per annum and a 25-year repayment period with a 7-year grace period, this yen loan provides very concessional terms and interest among various funding sources.
The project is Japan's first ODA loan project for the Philippines under the Aquino Administration. It was pledged at the first meeting between H.E. Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan and H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 29, 2010. It attests Japan's continued commitment to supporting the Philippine Government's development efforts under the leadership of President Aquino.
Japan has been the top ODA donor to the Philippines for many years and has assisted the country in achieving sustainable economic growth and creating employment opportunities through its ODA. This project reaffirms the Government of Japan's continued commitment extending cooperation in achieving sustainable growth in the Philippines and improving the living environment of the Filipino people, which will further foster a strategic partnership between the two countries towards the future.
In particular, Japan has been a long-time partner of the Philippines in construction and rehabilitation of highways and improvement of road networks, including 2,100-km “Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway” (“Pan-Philippines Highways” stretching from Aparri in Cagayan Province to Davao) and the 94-km “Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway” (which connects the Subic Bay Freeport and Special Economic Zone in Zambales, the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga, and the Central Techno Park in Tarlac), to name but a few. – end –
For more information about Japan's ODA to the Philippines, please visit our website at http://www.emb-japan.go.jp/bilateral/oda_eng.htm.
Speech of Ambassador Makoto Katsura