Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan, Minister Atsushi Ueno, attended the turnover ceremony last April 26, 2016 for “The Project for Providing Medical Equipment and Fixtures for the Delivery Room of the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center” in Cotabato City. The project was approved last FY 2014 and is part of the Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). It was attended by Dr. Helen P. Yambao, Medical Center Chief II of the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC), Ustadz Mohammad Shuaib Yacob, Executive Director of the Bangsamoro Development Authority, Brig. Gen. Dato’ Hj Sanusi Bin Hj Samion, Deputy Head of Mission of the International Monitoring Team and other officials of CRMC.
The Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) is one of the Level III teaching and training medical centers of the Department of Health (DOH) in Mindanao. It is situated in Cotabato City and provides health services to the people of Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and some provinces in the ARMM to include Maguindanao and Lanao Del Sur.
Due to its relative proximity to these provinces, CRMC has recorded an increasing number of admitted and out patients. The delivery room is among the busiest section in the hospital catering to more than 7,000 patients with Normal Spontaneous Vaginal Deliveries of approximately 4,000 deliveries every year. However, the existing medical equipment and fixtures in the delivery room can no longer cope with their existing need. The limited medical equipment and fixtures resulted to a 10% patients’ deliveries on the stretchers.
To address this situation, the Embassy of Japan (EOJ) funded the medical equipment and fixtures with a total amount of One Hundred Two Thousand One Hundred Thirty Eight US Dollars (USD 102,138) or approximately Php 4.3 million through GGP under J-BIRD (※) in FY 2014. The project aims at strengthening the perinatal care system of the CRMC and improving the medical services in this area. Also, the EOJ expects that this assistance will contribute to the strengthening of the partnership between the Philippines and Japan.
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. As of present, 519 grassroots projects have been funded by GGP.
(※) 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 dollars. Furthermore, when 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 (Note), in view of the establishment of a new autonomous political entity. (Note: A new phase of the J-BIRD that will focus more on ensuring economic autonomy in the Bangsamoro Area.
– End –