Japan Embassy's Labor Attache and Economic Section First Secretary Haruhiro JONO attended a turnover ceremony of newly-constructed classrooms at Tumana Elementary School, Santa Maria Bulacan. The school building was completed by “the Extension Plan for Tumana Elementary School” that was implemented by a Japanese NGO “Aichi Rescue.” Santa Maria Municipal Mayor Bartolome Ramos and Mr. Yoshimi Ando, Director of Aichi Rescue, also attended the ceremony. The project, amounting to US$ 49,005 (approximately 2.3 million pesos), is funded through the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects, a small-grant funding program of Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Before the project was implemented, the Tumana Elementary School had only 17 classrooms, which were not enough to accommodate about 1,000 pre-school and elementary school students. As a result, some of the classes were conducted in makeshift structures comprised of galvanized-iron roof and wooden walls. Such a setting did not provide the children with environment conducive for learning. In addition, the next school year is expected to bring in new students resulting in the increase d number of students. Without the construction of the new building, the problem of overcrowding in classrooms would have been exacerbated.
Under the project, a one-story, 3-classroom building has be en constructed for the Tumana Elementary School and 150 armchairs have also be en provided. The construction of the new school building will address the growing concern over classroom congestion and will provide the students with an improved learning environment.
The scheme of Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects started in the Philippines in 2002. Since then, the Japanese Government , as a top donor to the Philippines, has disbursed about 260 million Japanese Yen (approximately 130 million pesos) for a total of 2 3 projects in the Philippines under the scheme . It is hoped thus, through this project, friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines as well as the strategic partnership between our two nations will be further strengthened.
Speech of First Secretary Haruhiro Jono