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  • Palace: Extended term ‘ultimate nightmare’ for Duterte Staying in office beyond his term is President Rodrigo Duterte’s “ultimate nightmare,” Malacañang said, as it brushed aside claims that he would use proposals to change the form of government to stay in power. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque reiterated that Pres. Duterte is willing to let go of the presidency once the Constitution is amended to strengthen measures against graft and corruption and to establish a federal form of government. “Not even a day longer. To him that’s the ultimate nightmare. He wants to finish his term. He wants to give it his best shot and that’s it,” Usec. Roque added.
  • PH, Japan on track for new MRT deal The Philippine and Japanese governments are on track to ink a deal for a new maintenance contract for the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3).The Department of Transportation (DoTr) said the Philippine and Japanese governments have exchanged notes verbales regarding official development assistance (ODA). The arrangement with Japan involves obtaining ODA financing under the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP). The DoTr said that with projects under Japanese ODA, terms include 0.10% interest per year, with a 40-year payment period, and 12 years grace period for the principal. JICA will then conduct from this month until next month a feasibility study, which will refine the project’s scope of works, followed by relevant government approval. Signing of the loan agreement and procurement of the rehabilitation and maintenance provider will follow in March to April, and by the 2nd quarter, the Japanese provider will start its mobilization.  

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