Turnover of Japan-Funded Classroom Buildings for Sulon National High School in Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao

Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) - Press Release No. 31 - 2016



A turnover ceremony was held on June 20, 2016 for “The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Sulon National High School in Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao” The ceremony was attended by Mr. Watanabe Takuhiro, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan (EOJ), Datu Rauf T. Mastura, Municipal Mayor of Sultan Mastura, Dr. John A. Magno, Regional Secretary, Department of Education, Mr. Luna Sla, Principal of the Sulon National High School, other guests from the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Sutan Mastura including students and parents of the said school.

Sulon National High School was burned in 1972 due to armed conflict in the area. As there were no secondary schools nearby, the school was re-opened in 2013 with the background of the improvement in the peace and order in the area as well as the strong commitment of the Parents-Teachers Association and its community. However, the available facilities are a makeshift classroom and a borrowing classroom from neighboring elementary school only. Therefore, the school could not accommodate all the prospective students.

In 2014, under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), the Embassy of Japan provided assistance to the municipal government of Sultan Mastura amounting to (USD114,790) or approximately 5.1 million pesos for the construction of six (6) new classrooms with school furniture and (2) toilet buildings. Through this project, the EOJ hopes to provide not only conducive and safe learning environment but also a school that is easily accessible to students in the area.

 The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. To date, there are 519 grassroots projects that have been funded by GGP.

(※) Since 2006, Japan has been intensively implementing Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects and other ODA projects for conflict affected areas in Mindanao, collectively called J-BIRD (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development). Their total amount is over 2 billion US Dollar. Furthermore, when President Aquino made a state visit to Japan last June 2015, Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, expressed at their summit meeting his support for efforts by the Government of the Philippines to secure enduring peace in Mindanao, and stated that the Government of Japan will promote the J-BIRD II (Note), in view of the establishment of a new autonomous political entity.
(Note: A new phase of the J-BIRD that will focus more on ensuring economic autonomy in the Bangsamoro Area).