Japan and Philippines Sign Exchange of Notes to Provide JPY3.56 billion (PHP 1.8 billion) of Grant Assistance
Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) - Press Release No. 18- 2019
1 On February 21st, at the 7th Japan-Philippines High Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation in Osaka, Ambassador Koji Haneda and Ambassador Jose C. Laurel V signed Exchanges of Notes worth JPY 3.56 billion (PHP 1.8 billion) composed of two grants for additional support in Mindanao and one grant for the provision of train simulators. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Dr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, for the Japan side, and Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, accompanied by seven other high-level officials for the Philippine side namely: Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, Housing Secretary Eduardo D. Del Rosario, and BCDA President Vivencio B. Dizon, for the Philippines side.
2 Additional Assistance for Peace and Development in Mindanao (2 Grants)
(1) Programme for the Urgent Improvement of Socioeconomic Infrastructures in Bangsamoro Region (JPY 1.8 billion/PHP 900 million)
Japan will be providing assistance in rebuilding a TESDA vocational training center in Marawi City as well as providing equipment to the other two training centers in the Bangsamoro area (Basilan and Sultan Kudarat). With this assistance, local residents, including former MILF soldiers, will be able to acquire necessary vocational skills to improve their livelihood. In addition, this assistance aims to contribute to the improvement of the quality of public services of the new Bangsamoro government as well as to the stability in the region.
(2) Economic and Social Development Programme (Provision of Equipment for Improving Water Supply in the Bangsamoro Area) (JPY 560 million/PHP 280 million)
Japan will provide high quality well-drilling machines and underground water detection equipment so that the residents will have improved access to safe drinking water. This project, too, aims to contribute to the new Bangsamoro government’s capacity to provide public services as well as to contribute to regional stability.
(3) Japan’s Support in Mindanao
Since the launch of J-BIRD (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for the Reconstruction and Development) in 2006, Japan has provided a total of JPY 26 billion (PHP 13 billion) of intensive development assistance to the Bangsamoro area, including over 800 community infrastructure such as schools and clinics. Given that the peace process is at a critical juncture, with the enactment of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the successful plebiscite, this assistance aims to strongly support the eventual success of the peace process.
In addition to the newly signed assistance, on February 10th, Japan had signed an Exchange of Notes to provide JPY 22 billion (PHP 11 billion) of loan to support the development of the road network in Mindanao. Moreover, Exchange of Notes worth JPY 500 million (PHP 250 million) for the development of water supply in the Bangsamoro area and provision of agricultural training through UN agencies will be signed soon. The total amount of new assistance will amount to JPY 25 billion (PHP 13 billion).
3 Provision of Railway Simulator Equipment to Railway Training Schools
(1) Economic and Social Development Programme (Provision of Train Simulators to the Philippine Railway Institute (JPY 1.2 billion/PHP 600 million)
On top of its commitment to develop high quality railway systems in Mega Manila, the Government of Japan is also supporting the establishment of the Philippine Railway Institute through yen loan and technical assistance.
The train simulators will be provided to the Railway Institute and will be used to complete the technology transfer needed for the safe and reliable operation of the upcoming 150km North-South Railway Project connecting Clark and Calamba as well as the 30km Metro Manila Subway Project from Quezon City to Taguig City, both funded by Japanese yen loans.
This grant aid is given in addition to the existing technical assistance for the design of training manuals and formulation of curriculum. With capacity to train up to 1,800 personnel annually, the Institute will provide training and technical assistance for personnel in charge of operation and maintenance of the railways.
4 These assistances are part of Prime Minister Abe’s JPY 1 trillion (PHP 500 billion) commitment through the public and private support which was announced in January 2017. They are also the embodiment of the “Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation for the Next Five Years” issued on October 2017 on the occasion of a summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Duterte.