Parts of equipment purchased by the KAPPIA Network,
in the newly-constructed muscovado processing facility in the Municipality of Bangued, Abra
Mayor of the Municipality of Bangued, Hon. Ryan S. Luna, and Executive Director of the KAPPIA Network, Sister Celerina M. Zabala,
attended the turnover ceremony of the muscovado processing facility held on May 17.
Newly-constructed health center in the Municipality of Sugpon, Ilocos Sur
Mayor of the Municipality of Sugpon, Hon. Fernando Quiton, Sr.
attended the turnover ceremony of the health center held on May 18.
Two turnover ceremonies were held for the “The Project for the Construction of Muscovado Processing Facility in the Municipality of Bangued, Abra” (May 17, 2012) and “The Project for the Construction of Municipal Health Center in the Municipality of Sugpon, Ilocos Sur” (May 18, 2012). Both projects, amounting to USD 81,911 (approximately 3.5 million pesos) and USD 116,127 (approximately 5 million pesos) respectively, were funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
The economy of Abra relies on its agricultural sector, and sugar is one of its primary products. Muscovado sugar has be en promoted as a healthy sugar by the provincial government under the One Town One Product (OTOP) program. In order to benefit from the large potential market in the Philippines, the KAPPIA Network, a local NGO, requested for the assistance of the Japanese Embassy in order to build the muscovado processing facility and to purchase the necessary equipment that will improve the productivity of the local sugarcane farmers such as cane crusher and cane juice filtering system. The operation of this facility is expected to raise the levels of production as well as to increase the income of the sugarcane farmers in Bangued as well its neighboring municipalities in Abra.
Sugpon is a sixth class tribal municipality in the Province of Ilocos Sur and home to the Bago-Kankanaey tribe. With only a dilapidated health center to provide health services to a population of approximately 4,000, the health of the people, particularly mothers giving birth, was being put at risk. Given the circumstances, the Municipal Government of Sugpon sought assistance from the Japanese Embassy in building a new health center with a five-bed capacity and purchasing basic medical equipment. It is expected that the project will allow the local people to enjoy better health services and an improvement in their welfare.
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. GGP also contributes to the ensuring of “human security,” which is one of the major pillars of Japan's diplomacy and aims to empower vulnerable people to protect themselves from various threats. As of March 2012, 468 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 approximately US D 22 .5 million . Japan believes that this project will strengthen not only the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also the existing strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines.