On May 8, 2018, Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, attended the turnover ceremony of the “Construction of Community Learning Center in the Municipality of Magallanes, Sorsogon”. This project was funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), one of Japan’s Official Development Assistance. The ceremony was also attended by the Municipal Mayor of Magallanes, Mayor Augusto Manuel M. Ragragio, members of the Municipal Council, Department of Education Division Office officials, and the beneficiaries of the project.
The Municipality of Magallanes faced challenges related to the high incidence of drop-outs and out-of-school children, the main reasons of which are greatly attributed to poverty. To resolve this issue, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Magallanes implemented an educational program called Alternative Learning System (ALS)*1 wherein classes were held in an old and dilapidated building. The poor condition of the building such as the high risk of the ceiling to collapse and leak when it rains, and the lack of learning materials and training equipment compromised the learning process and the safety of the students.
Through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), the Embassy of Japan provided assistance to the Municipality of Magallanes with a grant amounting to Ninety-Eight Thousand Seven Hundred Seventy-Six US Dollars (USD 98,776) or approximately 4.1 Million Pesos. The grant covered the construction of a two (2) storey, two (2) classroom learning center with furniture and equipment. This project intends to provide proper and safe learning environment to approximately 950 students in the learning center. This project shall benefit an estimate of 2,895 residents who are willing to avail the free education program.
The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. At present, 533 grassroots projects have been implemented by GGP. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute in sustaining strategic partnership between the two countries.
*1 Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a free and short-term, non-formal education and learning system implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines. The program is intended for out-of-school children, youth and adult who do not have the chance to attend and finish formal basic education in school.