As if our struggling transport system wasn’t burdened enough, another blow has been dealt. The World Bank has just seemingly canceled its loans for the Metro Manila BRT Line 1 project.
Metro Manila BRT loan details
The project agreement had originally been reached on March 16, 2017, and the total loan amount for the project was (PHP 3.5 Billion). The World Bank in a report said that with only 6 months left before the project closing date and with no significant progress made, an extension can’t be justified.
A formal cancellation request was sent by the Department of Finance (DOF) for the loan on June 21, 2022.
The World Bank went on further to mention in its report that the Metro Manila BRT project implementation “remained slow during the last three years” despite “renewed commitment from government counterparts.” The organization mentioned several reasons for this, one of which is the “weak capacity of the implementing agency.”
The agency tasked with furthering the project was the National BRT Program Management Office (NPMO). Throughout its existence, it has been understaffed, under-budgeted, and hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
While this is an unfortunate update, we do hope that it could be revived at some point in the future to help alleviate our already faltering public transport system.