On March 22, 2019 Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda signed 5 grant contracts at the Embassy of Japan (EOJ), with the representatives of recipient organizations for several social development projects in the Philippines. The ceremony was attended by Assistant Secretary Salvador C. Malana II , Procurement and Administration of the Department of Education and Director Mar Wynn Bello, Bureau of International Health Cooperation of the Department of Health.
The new approved contracts of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP)*1 will provide a total of 14 units of classrooms to two elementary schools, upgrading of rural health unit, medical equipment and agriculture equipment. Total grant amount for these contracts is USD 791, 278 (approximately 42 million pesos)
1. The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Bayanga Norte Elementary School in Matanog, Maguindanao
Proponent: Local Government Unit of Matanog, Maguindanao
Amount of Grant: US$ 169,645 (approximately 9 million pesos)
Bayanga Norte Elementary School has existing makeshift and dilapidated classrooms. In addition, students are burdened by the location of the school which takes around over 3.5 to 5 hours going back and forth from their residence to the school. Through GGP, new 2 school buildings with 7 classrooms will be provided at new location nearer to students’ residence. When the project is completed, students walking hours will be reduced within 45 minutes and they will have improved access to education. This project is part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development or J-Bird*2.
2. The Project for the Construction School Building of Datu Saber Elementary School in Marawi City
Proponent: GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc.
Grant Amount: US$ 341,179 (approximately 18 million pesos)
The existing building of Datu Saber Elementary School is dilapidated and have been damaged during the Marawi Siege in 2017. In addition, the school had more than 400 students hold classes in 6 non-standard classrooms, which resulted in congestion. Given these concerns, there is an immediate need to improve the poor situation of the school and its students. Through GGP, a new 3-storey 7 classroom school building will be constructed which will provide better and safer learning space for students. This project will contribute to the recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi. This project is also part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development or J-Bird.
3. The Project for the Repair and Upgrading of the Main Health Center Building and Purchase of Laboratory Equipment in Dingalan, Aurora
Proponent: Local Government Unit of Dingalan
Grant Amount: US$ 109,567 (approximately 5.8 million pesos)
The Dingalan Municipal Health Center serves as the primary health center in the municipality. However, the limited facilities and lack of equipment hampers the delivery of adequate medical services to patients. Through this project, necessary birthing equipment such as infant warmer and laboratory equipment including CBC analyzer will be provided. Once the project is completed, the upgraded Dingalan health center can provide comprehensive medical services to 5000 patients including 650 pregnant women annually.
4. The Project for Provision of Medical Equipment for Rural Health Unit of Balete, Batangas
Proponent: Local Government Unit of Balete
Amount of Grant: US$ 98,880 (approximately 5.2 million pesos)
The Rural Health Unit of Balete, Batangas serves as the main health facility in the municipality. However, the lack of medical equipment such as fully-automated chemistry analyzer and ultrasound machine hampers the efficient delivery of services to patients. When the medical equipment is provided, the rural health unit will improve its capacity to accommodate more patients including 1,400 patients needing the fully-automated chemistry analyzer and 100 patients needing the ultrasound machine annually. The project will ultimately benefit 22,610 residents of Balete.
5. The Project for Provision of One (1) Unit of Mobile Drier with Movable Shed for the Municipality of Calintaan
Proponent: Local Government Unit of Calintaan
Grant Amount: US$ 72,007 (approximately 3.9 million pesos)
Calintaan is an agricultural municipality. Rice and corn are their primary crops. One of the main concerns of the farmers in Calintaan is the lack of proper drying facilities. This situation leads to damages in the harvest of the farmers which accounts to 10% of their produce. Once the mobile drier is provided, farmers will not only improve the quality of their crops but also lessen the loss and wastage helping them to increase their income.
Note*1; The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of present, 543 grassroots projects have been funded by GGP with a total amount of US$ 33,151,379. 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 toward the future.
Note*2: 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 200 million US Dollars. Furthermore, when former President Aquino made a state visit to Japan in 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, in view of the establishment of a new autonomous political entity.