Turnover Ceremony for “The Project for the Provision of One (1) Unit Mobile Clinic for Zamboanga City Medical Center” under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP)

Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) - Press Release No. 34- 2019

On April 25, 2019, Minister for Economic Affairs Makoto Iyori, Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa and Second Secretary Atsushi Kobayashi of the Embassy of Japan attended the turnover ceremony in Zamboanga City for the “The Project for the Provision of One (1) Unit Mobile Clinic for Zamboanga City Medical Center”.
The project was approved in 2016, and is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). Dr. Nida Casco Tan, Chief of the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC), and Assistant Regional Director Joshua Brillantes of the Department of Health Region IX also graced the turnover ceremony.
Many underprivileged residents living in the rural barangays of Zamboanga City lack access to proper medical services. Due to insufficient financial resources and distance from service providers, these residents opt to self-medicate and seek non-scientific alternative medicines instead. In addition, the armed and violent conflict between the armed forces of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 2013 has led to more than 15,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who sought refuge within the city. These situations led the ZCMC to propose a mobile clinic to address the concerns of the IDPs and the underprivileged communities.
In line with J-BIRD and through the GGP, the Embassy of Japan provided assistance to the Zamboanga City Medical Center with a grant amounting to Ninety-Two Thousand Eight Hundred Fifty-Seven US dollars (USD 92,857) or approximately 3.9 million pesos. The grant covered the procurement of the mobile clinic with an x-ray machine.
Now that the project is turned over to the hospital, the mobile clinic aims to provide improved access to medical services not only to the IDPs still based in the city, but also across 13 rural barangays with an estimate of 1,900 residents to be served.
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. At present, 543 grassroots projects have been implemented by the GGP. Japan believes that these projects will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute in sustaining strategic partnership between the two countries.
Note*1: 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.