Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura congratulates Mayor Helen de Castro, after signing the grant contract for the Project for the Construction and Renovation of Lying-in Center in Bulan, Sorsogon on March 22, 2011 at the Embassy of Japan. The event was witnessed by the officers of the Embassy and the Municipal Government of Bulan.
Japanese Ambassador Makoto Ka ts ura and Mayor Helen de Castro of the Municipality of Bulan, Sorsogon signed the grant contract for “The Project for the Construction and Renovation of Lying-In Center in Bulan, Sorsogon”, on March 22, 2011 at the Embassy of Japan. The project, amounting to US$86,757 (approximately 3.7 million pesos), is funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
The Municipality of Bulan, located in the Sorsogon province is the trade center of the p rovince. The rapid economic growth has been seen in the municipality, but about 50 percent of the residents have not benefited sufficiently from the development. The municipal government also has a difficulty in delivering adequate social service to its growing population. In particular, the quality health service is not available in many parts of the municipality.
There are only 18 barangay health stations in 63 barangays of the municipality and, among them, the health station with birthing facility is only located at Barangay Otavi. Therefore, many pregnant women cannot seek diagnosis and tend to choose the home-based delivery that has potential threat to the health of both pregnant women and newborns. As a result, the maternal and infant mortality rate is comparably high in the municipality. In particular, the death incidence related to childbirth amounted to 60 in 2008.
Under these circumstances, the Municipal Government of Bulan requested assistance from the Embassy of Japan for the construction of a lying-in center in Barangay Zone 2 and t he renovation of the existing health station in Barangay Otavi . The necessary equipment will also be installed in these facilities. It is expected that this project will improve the maternal and child health care situation in the municipality.
Japan, as the top donor of the official development assistance for the Philippines, launched GGP in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of March 2011, 442 grassroots projects funded by GGP – ranging from roughly 1 to 4 million pesos – have been implemented by NGOs, local government units and other non-profit organizations. The total grant for these projects so far amounts to US$ 19,929,409. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute to fostering a strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines towards the future.