Honorable Mayor Evelyn T. Uy
Honorable Mayor Maria Cecilia Carreon
Municipality of Piñan
Director Hiroshi Ikeda
OISCA Mindanao Eco-tech International School
L adies and gentlemen:
Buenas dia con ustedes todo! (Good day to everyone!)
Allow me to start with saying a few words about the unprecedented tragedy in Japan caused by the devastating earthquake and tsunami last month. As you know, the Government and people of Japan have been struggling with the devastation with all our might, and the task and challenges we face remain huge. I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for so many heartfelt messages of sympathies and condolences that the Government and the people of the Philippines have extended to us, as well as for the relief goods supplied by the Philippine Government for the affected people in Japan. The Government and people of Japan will continue to make all-out efforts, with the assistance from the international community including those from the Philippines, to overcome the difficulty and recover from this calamity as soon as possible.
Now, let me turn to the project before us and, first of all, allow me to express my appreciation for being able to join you in today's ceremony. I have visited Mindanao several times, but I have never come to this part of Mindanao before. Today I am fascinated again by the beauty of nature in Mindanao. I also hear that Dipolog City is famous for its orchid. I hope that this city will be able to utilize its potential, to the maximum extent possible, in ecotourism and other fields to attract people and investment.
Today, I am pleased to see that the ambulances and a fire truck delivered here in Zamboanga del Norte from Japan. I understand that Dipolog City and the Municipality of Piñan have been both experiencing a shortage of ambulances and fire truck s that led to the increase of losses in lives and properties. With these vehicles , I believe that the local authorities will be able to attend to emergencies more effectively, save more lives and better prevent the destruction of propert ies and livelihood s, and thus enhance the human security of local people .
As we are aware, this project has come true thanks to the initiative of the Japanese NGO, the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement or OISCA. OISCA is one of the most active and famous NGOs in Japan. They have projects and conduct activities in many developing countries, including the Philippines. In this area also, Director Ikeda has worked hard so long in technical cooperation programs such as tree planting. Our appreciation goes to OISCA represented today by Director Ikeda.
In closing, I would also like to express my appreciation to all the people from Dipolog City and the Municipality of Piñan who have made great efforts for the successful implementation of this project. I hope that this project will be another testimony and milestone of the friendship between the peoples of the Philippines and Japan, which further fosters a strategic partnership between our two countries towards the future.
Muchisimas gracias ! Viva Zamboanga! (Thank you very much.)