Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura is going to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) Convention Center in Tagaytay, Cavite Province, on May 7, 2010. The PHILJA Convention Center is the training center of the Philippine Supreme Court for justices, judges, court personnel, lawyers, and aspirants for judicial posts, and was funded by Japan through the Counter-value Fund, amounting to 300 Million Pesos, which the Philippine Government accumulated by selling the commodities procured under Japan's Non-Project Grant Aid for the Philippines.
The new training center called PHILJA Convention Center was constructed to house necessary facilities for training such as lecture rooms, computer rooms, conference rooms, the library, staff offices, and dining lounges. Before this training center was constructed, for the purpose of judicial training, PHILJA used to use a building which was originally a recreation club and did not have sufficient training facilities and equipment.
Thus, the Convention Center fully equipped with facilities for training will strengthen the capacity of PHILJA to provide legal education for a greater number of beneficiaries. It contributes to the enhanced function of the judicial branch of the Philippine Government as it directly benefits tens of thousands of justices, judges, court personnel and lawyers from all over the country. In addition, the entire Filipino people will also benefit from a more efficient administration of justice as a result of the enhanced training now available in the PHILJA Convention Center. Furthermore, it will become a new landmark of Tagaytay and is supposed to generate more job opportunities for the city's population.
The Counter-value Fund has enabled the Philippine Government to implement various projects for its socio-economic development. Notably, in addition to the project to construct the Philippine Judicial Academy Convention Center, the Counter-value Fund projects include the project to distribute personal computers for public high schools nationwide (PCs for Public Schools Project).
Japan has been the top ODA donor to the Philippines for many years. Japan's Non-Project Grant Aid and its Counter-value Fund projects will firmly continue to support the Philippine Government's initiative to reduce poverty and improve its economic structure, and will further enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries.