By Philippine Star, June 9, 2022; Philippine Star

Manila, Philippines — The Philippine government secured a new financing from the Asian Development Bank amounting to $4.3 billion (P227.5 billion) to partly fund the construction of South Commuter Railway project.

ADB’s investment in the project — which involves the construction of nearly 55 kilometers of modern suburban railway line connecting Metro Manila with the city of Calamba, south of the capital — is the multilateral lender’s largest infrastructure financing in the Asia and Pacific region to date.

The project is part of the bigger North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) network, which is expected to create more than 35,500 jobs during construction and over 3,200 permanent jobs during operation.

The ADB said the South Commuter Railway Project will be financed under a multi-tranche financing facility, with the first tranche to be made available starting this year. The first round of financing will comprise of a regular loan of $1.75 billion with an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s Flexible Loan Product. The loan is payable in 28 years, including a grace period of 9 years.

The release of the second and third tranches is expected in 2024 and 2026, respectively.

“The South Commuter Railway Project will provide affordable, safe, reliable, and fast public transport for commuters,” ADB Vice-President for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ahmed Saeed said in a statement on Thursday.

ADB will finance civil works for the railway viaduct, stations, bridges, tunnels, and depot buildings of the South Commuter Railway. The Japan International Cooperation Agency is funding the rolling stock and railway systems.