Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe unveils the marker with Dr. Tomanda Antok of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI).
The newly constructed Human Resources Development Center of the BLMI.
Dr. Antok giving the token to Ambassador Urabe, witnessed by (from left) MILF Peace Panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, Malaysian Facilitator to the GPH-MILF Peace Talks Tengko Datu Ab Ghafar Bin Tengku Mohamed, Dr. Tomanda Antok, GPH Peace Panel Chairman Marvic Leonen and Ustadz Mohammad Shuaib Ya'cob of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA). The ceremony was also witnessed by members of International Contact Group (ICG).
Ambassador Urabe and his party receive a warm welcome from the students of Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat Islamic Academy (SKIA) Foundation, Inc.
In his speech, Ambassador Urabe emphasized the importance of unity, as he told the students the following quote, “Kung magsama-sama at malakas, magwatak-watak at babagsak. Ang mahalaga ay pagkakaisa.” (United we are strong, divided we fall. The important thing is unity.)
Ambassador Urabe and Atty. Datu Michael O. Mastura and Hadja Salma Lourdes V. Mastura in front of the newly constructed Technical- Vocational Skills Development Center of SKIA Foundation, Inc. The ceremony was also witnessed by members of International Contact Group (ICG).
Ambassador Toshinao Urabe attended the turn-over ceremonies of “The Project for the Construction of the Training Center for Human Resources Development” (June 7, 2012) and “The Project for the Construction of Technical-Vocational Skills Development Center” (June 8, 2012), both in the Municipality of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, which were funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
The construction of the “Training Center for Human Resources Development” in Barangay Crossing Simuay, was conducted by the local NGO, Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI), with a grant amount of USD 98,230 or around 4.3 million pesos. Basic office fixtures such as white boards and plastic chairs are also purchased.
The training center will serve as a venue to provide trainings consistent with Bangsamoro culture and values for around 500 people per year including local government staff, women and youth that are expected to take pivotal roles in their communities in the future. The ultimate goal of the trainings is to achieve better governance and leadership that are vital in enhancing socio-economic and political circumstances in Mindanao.
The “Technical-Vocational Skills Development Center,” was constructed by the Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat Islamic Academy (SKIA) Foundation, Inc., with a grant amount of USD 93,043 or about 4 million pesos. Basic equipment such as white boards and armchairs are also purchased.
Around 300 people per year including high school graduates, out of school youth and women from different barangays of the Municipality and neighboring municipalities, will be equipped with vocational skills. It is expected that the skills will enable them to gain alternative sources of livelihood and give them new opportunities to improve their living conditions.
Ambassador Urabe stressed in his speeches the continuous support of the Japanese government to the Mindanao peace process and expressed his desire that the newly-constructed facilities will be utilized to its maximum effect and contribute to the peace in Mindanao.
The two projects are part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) that 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). In addition to these grassroots projects, various other assistance projects have also been implemented under the J-BIRD as described in Annex.
June 1, 2012
The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
1. What is J-BIRD?
Launched in December 2006, J-BIRD ( Japan- Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development) is designed to contribute to the peace process and development in the Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (CAAM) and the surrounding areas in the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). The objective of J-BIRD is to enable the people and the communities in the target areas to enjoy the “dividends of peace” through the Japanese ODA on the basis of “Human Security” principles. As of now, the total amount of the assistance is approximately \12.0B (PHP6.30B).
2. Grant Aid
● Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP)
Since the launch of J-BIRD in 2006, Japan has implemented 58 projects in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao,
amounting to a total of approximately \480M (PHP252.14M).
The projects include construction and rehabilitation of schools, training centers, water supply systems and health centers,
and provision of post-harvest facilities and equipment.
● Grant Aid for Japanese NGO's project: 4 projects (construction of schools, etc.) (\117M: PHP61.46M)
● Emergency food aid of rice to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through the United Nation's World Food Programme (WFP): \860M (PHP451.76) (Distribution: Jan. 2009 – Jan. 2010)
● Assistance to IDPs, Returnees and other Food-insecure Households in Conflict Affected Areas in Muslim Mindanao through WFP (International Emergency Food Reserve :IEFR): USD700,000 (PHP29.89M) (Decided in February, 2011)
3. Technical Cooperation
● Senior Advisor for Regional Development of ARMM: Japan dispatches a senior advisor who coordinates ODA projects for ARMM and provides policy advice on development issues for the ARMM government.
● ARMM Human Capacity Development Project (\600M: PHP315.18M): This project aims to improve capacity of middle management and operating core members of the ARMM government through the assistance for development of the Halal industry, establishment of the “ARMM Administration Code” and the “Human Resource Information System,” and management of infrastructure.
● Topographic Map for Peace and Development in Mindanao (\1.3B: PHP682.89M) (March 2010-): This project is going to update the topographic map of Mindanao, which will contribute to more effective formulation and smoother implementation of ODA projects.
● Development Study of Promotion of Local Industry in ARMM (\240M: PHP126.07M) (March 2010-August 2011)
● Rice-based Farming System Training and Support for ARMM (\160M: PHP84.05M)
● SERD-CAAM (Study for Socio-Economic Reconstruction and Development of Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao) (\630M: PHP330.94M) (March 2007- November 2009)
This project created the “Socio-Economic Development Plan” (SEDP) for the reconstruction and development of
conflict-affected areas based on the comprehensive social survey and need analysis conducted on 3,847 barangays.
The study also implemented 11 QIPs (Quick Impact Projects) and 23 OSAs (On the Spot Assistance).
These are small infrastructure projects (ex. schools, water supply facilities, rice mills) to address immediate needs of the barangays
based on the “In-Depth Barangay Needs Analysis” (IBNA).
● Study on Infrastructure (Road Network) Development Plan for ARMM (\300M: PHP157.59M) ( September 2008- July 2009)
4. Loan Aid
● ARMM Social Fund for Peace and Development Project
This project started in April 2004, co-financed by Japan and World Bank. Japan's contribution amounts to \2.47B (PHP1.30B).
CDA (Community Development Assistance) projects (smaller infrastructure projects with 1.5M peso allotted for each barangay)
and SRI (Strategic Regional Infrastructure) projects (larger infrastructure projects) are being conducted in the ARMM region.
CDA and SRI projects include construction of multi-purpose centers, water-supply facilities / tanks, warehouses, schools, and roads.
● Central Mindanao Road Project (\3.7B: PHP1.94B): This project aims to construct roads between North Upi and Kalamansig (74.82km). (April 2004 – December 2011)
5. NPGA (Non-Project Grant Assistance) Counter-value Fund
● 3 projects were approved in June 2009:
Construction of Japan-ARMM friendship hall and training center (\58M: PHP30.47M)
Equipment supply for improvement of road network in ARMM (\282M: PHP148.13M)
Personal computers for public high schools project (phase 4) (Mindanao) (\340M: PHP178.60M)
● Dispatch of socio-economic development experts to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) (Since 2006, five experts have been dispatched.)
* PHP-JPY Exchange Rate=0.5253 (2012 April Average)
PHP-USD Exchange Rate=42.6998 (2012 April Average)