Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa and Mr. Segismundo Gonzalez, Chairman of Stepping Stone Foundation, Inc., signed the grant contract for “The Project for the Procurement of Equipment and Renovation of Physical Therapy Center in Paranaque City” on 6 March 2017. The total grant amount is US$ 44,970 (or approximately 1.8 million pesos) and is funded by the Embassy of Japan (EOJ) under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
There are about 6,000 children with disabilities in Paranaque City, Metro Manila, 1,200 of which are with physical disabilities. While they need to be given with full support towards the promotion of their well-being, majority of these children cannot afford to undergo rehabilitation or therapies to improve their physical ability as well as access to Special Education (SPED) to develop their skills. Moreover, the lack of appropriate and affordable facilities offering basic physical therapy and special education programs remains a challenge especially for children from impoverished families.
To address it, GGP funded the Center for Excellence in Special Education (Stepping Stone) Foundation, Inc. for the renovation of a physical therapy center and procurement of equipment with the aim of providing affordable rehabilitation services and prioritizing the accommodation of around 1,200 marginalized children with disabilities in Paranaque and nearby areas. In the long run, the facility is expected to extend sustainable support to PWDs towards their improvement and independence.
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. As of present, 520 grassroots projects have been funded by GGP. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute to further fostering a strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines towards the future.