Japanese aid

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DON’T look now, but it appears that the Duterte administration’s independent foreign policy thrust is paying huge dividends.

Over the past year, enhanced bilateral ties with China and Russia have led to an outpouring of development assistance and investments from these two non-traditional partners, focused as we were on relations with the United States and Wetern Europe in the past.

Today, the Japanese government is also actively helping us in our economic development efforts.

Last week, the Department of Finance announced that the Philippine goverment would soon sign a loan agreement with Tokyo for the initial funding of the Metro Manila Subway Project, the Plaridel Bypass Road in Bulacan, and the flood risk management project in the Cavite industrial area.

The contracts involve a $929.1 million loan for the first phase of the subway project, a $89 million loan for the third phase of the Plaridel Bypass Road Project in Bulacan, and another$142 loan agremeent for the Cavite project.

The closer bilateral ties between our two countries in the past one-and-a-half years is the end-result of reciprocal visits by President Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

These visits have no doubt boosted development cooperation between our two countries. Our hope is that this cooperation would continue so that we can accelerate our infrastructure program that will not only create more jobs but also help reduce poverty incidence in the years ahead.

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