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Japan extending ¥3.2B for Mindanao peace, development projects

The Japanese government is extending ¥3.2 billion in assistance for peace and developments projects in Mindanao, the Department of Finance said Friday.

During the 7th high-level meeting of the Japan-Philippines Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation in Osaka on February 21, Japan announced the grant for Mindanao peace and development, the DOF said in a statement.

The ¥3.2-billion grant assistance is on top of the $202-million loan for the Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao

The grant assistance will be used for the following projects:

  • ¥1.8 billion TO BUILD Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)  training centers in Marawi City and the provinces of Basilan and Sultan Kudarat under the Program for the Urgent Improvement of Socioeconomic Infrastructure in the Bangsamoro Region
  • ¥560 million to provide well-drilling and underground water detecting machines under the Economic and Social Development Program
  • ¥200 million to provide livelihood assistance in agriculture and fisheries through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • ¥300 million to develop water facilities in the Bangsamoro region through the International Labor Organization (ILO)
  • ¥340 million to provide vehicles and equipment through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

Finance Secretary Carlo Dominguez III headed the Philippine delegation, while Hiroto Izumi, special advisor to Prime Minister Shinz? Abe, led the Japanese officials.

Other Philippine officials in the meeting were National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Public Works Secretary Mark Villa, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Secretary Eduardo del Rosario,  Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and CEO Vivencio Dizon, and Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel.

Other Japanese officials present were Shigeru Kiyama, special adviser to the Cabinet, and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda.

Philippine and Japanese officials also discussed ways to further expand cooperation and address “implementation bottlenecks” in the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure projects and in supporting peace-building initiatives in Mindanao with the recent ratification of the organic law establishing a new Bangsamoro region in the South. 

“Japan is ready to send our support to the progress made in the peace process,” Izumi said.

“At the same time, I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to the victims who were killed or injured by the recent terror attacks that occurred somewhere in Mindanao,” Izumi added.

Dominguez thanked Japan for the assistance it has been extending to Mindanao, especially to the soon-to-be formed Bangsamoro region and the devastated city of Marawi. —Ted Cordero/VDS, GMA News