On 12 April 2022, Mr. Masahiro NAKATA, Minister for Economic Affairs, virtually handed over 3,500 android tablets and 21 Wi-Fi local area network (LAN) sets with solar-powered batteries procured under the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (JFPR) to the Department of Education (DepEd).

In his remarks, Minister Nakata commended the continuous efforts of DepEd in addressing the urgent issues concerning the education system in the Philippines which was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and reassured its commitment to assist Filipino students and teachers to the best of its ability.

According to Minister Nakata, “the education sector has been one of the top priorities of our bilateral official development assistance (ODA) and our collaboration with multilateral donors such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He has also cited that the Philippines and Japan share the same belief in education as the foundation of nation-building thus making education accessible to all is a must. Through the donation made, he expressed his hope to effectively help the Department address the inequalities in the education system, pre- and post-pandemic.

The event was hosted by the ADB through Mr. Alain Morel, Principal Country Specialist, and was attended by the DepEd representatives – Usec. Tonisito Umali and Usec. Nepomuceno Malaluan, partner organizations such as the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Edukasyon PH, NIRAS Consulting and the beneficiaries from the Schools Division Offices in Abra, Kalinga, Bohol, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The JFPR – Technical Assistance (TA) serves as a supporting mechanism for DepEd’s Last Mile Schools Program which aims to address gaps in geographically isolated and disadvantaged and conflict-affected areas (GIDCA) in the Philippines.