Turnover Ceremony for “The Project for the Construction of Two Storey Building for Technical Vocational Education and Training Center in Tampakan, South Cotabato (GGP)”



On July 20, 2022, Consul-General ISHIKAWA Yoshihisa of the Consulate-General of Japan in Davao, Vice Consul MITSUHASHI Rie and Third Secretary YAMADA Yumi from the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines attended the turnover ceremony in Tampakan, South Cotabato for “The Project for the Construction of One Storey Building for Technical Vocational Education and Training Center in Tampakan, South Cotabato”. Mayor Leonard T. Escobillo graced the event. Approved in 2018, the project is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (GGP) and is also part of the Embassy and Consulate-General’s effort to support the peace and development in Mindanao under the program, the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD)1.  

Against the background of the limited vocational training opportunities available in the municipality, the unemployment rate of Tampakan was three times higher than the national average in 2015. The municipal government opened a vocational training center in 2011 to address the increasing concern of unemployment; however, as the center only has four training rooms, it could not effectively and efficiently conduct 10 types of vocational training courses that were being offered at the center. 

To address this issue, the Embassy of Japan has provided a grant amount of USD 80,485 or approximately PHP 4.3 million2 to the Municipal Government of Tampakan. The grant covered the construction of a one-storey, four classroom training facility building. In his message during the ceremony, Consul-General ISHIKAWA commended the vocational training facility management, trainers, and trainees for their commitment for skills upgrading even during the pandemic. He further expressed his hope that residents of Tampakan will avail vocational training opportunities at the expanded training facility to hone technical skills necessary for employment and the betterment of their livelihood.    

As the top ODA donor for the Philippines, the Government of Japan launched the GGP scheme in the Philippines in 1989 to reduce poverty and help various communities engage in grassroots activities. At present, 553 grassroots projects have been implemented by the GGP. Japan believes that these projects will strengthen the friendship between Japan and the Philippines and contribute to sustaining strategic partnerships between the two countries.

[1] Since 2006, Japan has been intensively implementing the 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 the efforts by the Government of the Philippines to secure enduring peace in Mindanao, and stated that the Government of Japan will promote J-BIRD II in view of the establishment of a new autonomous political entity.
[2] Grant Amount: USD 81,112; Dollar Rate 1 USD = PHP 51.3 (as of July 1, 2019)