Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary (OPAPP) Teresita “Ging” Quintos-Deles during the grant contract signing of Japan- Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) projects on March 22, 2012 at the OPAPP. The event was witnessed by the International Monitoring Team (IMT) Head of Mission Major General Dato Mahdi Bin Yusuff, Senior Advisors for Reconstruction and Development and members of the IMT Mr. Naoyuki Ochiai and Mr. Kei Fukunaga; and OPAPP Undersecretary Maria Cleofe Gettie Sandoval, and Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo. Also in the photo (standing) are the representatives of the recipient organizations.
As it has been working towards full recovery after a year of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Japan continues to support the development of the conflict affected areas in Mindanao based on its policy shown in the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Developmen t, or J-BIRD. The J-BIRD was launched in 2006 to pursue Japan's commitment to the peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe signed eight (8) grant contracts for various social development projects in conflict - affected areas in Mindanao on March 22 , 2012 at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process . These projects are the sixth batch of the assistance under the J-BIRD funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
This new package of assistance, amounting to 824,653 US dollars or about 34 million pesos, will form part of Japan's commitment to support peace and development efforts in Mindanao. Th is package includes the the construction of four (4) school buildings, two (2) post-harvest facilities with agricultural equipment, a training center and the installation of hospital equipment. For the outline of the projects, please refer to Annex I.
Since its launching, Japan has supported 58 grassroots projects in the total amount of 4.7 m illion US dollars or about 243 m illion pesos. In addition to these grassroots projects, various other assistance projects have also been implemented under the J-BIRD as described in Annex II.
Ambassador Urabe stated in his speech, “Japan is involved in the Mindanao Peace Process. Achieving peace and human security in Mindanao will enhance the development of the Philippines. Peace and better welfare in the Philippines will contribute to the stability and prosperity in Asia. ”
In assistance for the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, Japan continues its membership to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) through the contribution of the two (2) Senior Advisors for Reconstruction and Development, Mr. Naoyuki Ochiai and Mr. Kei Fukunaga, who have been providing their expertise in the socio-economic development aspect of Mindanao. In addition, Japan is also a member of the International Contact Group (ICG), which performs such roles as giving advice to the parties concerned on the Mindanao Peace Process and participating in peace talks as observers.