The Department of Transportation (DOTr) found themselves in the hot seat when the Senators questioned their decision to continue pursuing Chinese loans, even though Japan offers better loan terms.
DOTr recently requested the Department of Finance to resubmit the loan applications to China for the funding of three railway projects: the PNR South Long Haul Project (North-South Commuter Railway), Subic-Clark Railway and Mindanao Railway (Tagum-Davao-Digos) project.
However, according to the lawmakers, there are other countries that offer better loan terms, especially Japan.
Undersecretary Timothy John Batan explained that based on the areas of expertise, experience, and financing headroom for the Philippines, it was Chinese financing that matched.
Moreover, Senator Poe questioned the huge increase in the cost of the Metro Manila Subway project as it jumped from Php 300 billion to Php 480 billion.
Batan replied that the Investment Coordination Committee required the subway to be connected to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, as well as the North-South Commuter Railway System.
“A subway train coming from Valenzuela or Quezon City or Makati, for example, from underground, it will slowly go above ground into our North-South Commuter Rail in the Bicutan area, allowing our subway trains to go all the way to Calamba,” Batan said.