Attorney Naguib Sinarimbo
ARMM Executive Secretary
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a great honor for me to join you in this groundbreaking ceremony of the “Japan-ARMM Friendship Hall and Training Center.” It was in June, 2009 that the Government of Japan approved the 28.8-Million-Peso ODA grant for the construction of the Training Center. The funding comes from the Counter-value Fund of Japan's Non-Project Grant Aid.
The Government of Japan considers its assistance for Mindanao to be one of the three main pillars of its ODA for the Philippines. In addition, support for policy planning and implementation of the ARMM Government, including its human resource development, is one of the three main development issues of Japan's assistance policy for Mindanao. In this context, by financing the construction of the Training Center, the Government of Japan manifests its support to the efforts by the ARMM Government to enhance its human resource development.
In the field of assistance for policy planning and implementation of the ARMM Government, Japan has been implementing two other projects. First, we dispatch a senior advisor for regional development, Mr. Kimura, to the ARMM Government. Senior Advisor Mr. Kimura coordinates ODA projects for the ARMM and provides policy advice on development issues for the ARMM government.
In addition, we have been implementing the ARMM Human Capacity Development Project, which aims to improve capacity of the ARMM government officials through the assistance for establishment of the “ARMM Administration Code,”development of the Halal industry, and management of infrastructure, and so forth. We hope that the Training Center will also contribute to human resource development in collaboration with the two ongoing ODA projects.
I would like to take this opportunity to mention Japan's assistance policy for Mindanao, that is, “Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development” or “J-BIRD.” The J-BIRD was launched in 2006 to contribute to the peace process and development in the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao and the surrounding areas in the ARMM through its economic cooperation. This project to construct the Training Center is also considered to be one of the J-BIRD projects. Thus, through various reconstruction and development efforts under the J-BIRD, Japan is committed to further advancing the Mindanao Peace Process and to enable the people and communities in the targeted areas to enjoy the “dividends of peace.”
In closing, we sincerely hope that the Japan-ARMM Friendship Hall and Training Center will enhance human resource development of the ARMM Government and rest assured of the Government of Japan's continuous commitment and friendship to support efforts of the ARMM government to achieve sustainable development.
Thank you very much for your attention.