MANILA — Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa will sign seven grant contracts with respective recipient organizations for various social development projects in conflict – affected areas in Mindanao at 9 a.m. on March 24, 2015 at Astoria Plaza Hotel.
These projects are funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) implemented by the Embassy of Japan as part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD).
The signing ceremony will be attended by the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo, Executive Director of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) Mohammad Shuaib Yacob, and Member of Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH-MILF) Secretary Senen Bacani.
The new package of assistance, amounting to 645,879 US dollars (approximately 27 million pesos), will form part of Japan’s commitment to peace and development efforts in Mindanao. The package includes three projects in education, two projects in agriculture and two projects in health.
1. “The Project for the Construction of an Outpatient Building of Rural Health Unit of Vincenzo Sagun”
2. “The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Dumadalig Integrated School in Tantangan, South Cotabato”
3. “The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Manglicmot High School in Alamada, North Cotabato”
4. “The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Patadon Elementary School in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato”
5. “The Project for Providing Medical Equipment and Fixtures for the Delivery Room of the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center”
6. “The Project for the Acquisition of Two (2) Units of Light Hauling Vehicles”
7. “The Project for the Provision of Pre and Postharvest Facilities for the Farmers of the Municipality of Bagumbayan in Sultan Kudarat”
These projects are part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), the Japanese government’s package of assistance in support of peace and development in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
Since the launch of J-BIRD in 2006, Japan has supported 82 GGP projects in the total amount of 7.19 million US dollars through J-BIRD as of March 2015.
In addition to the GGP support, the Government of Japan has continued to send two senior advisors under the International Monitoring Team (IMT) to assist the reconstruction and development of conflict-affected areas in Mindanao since October 2006. Moreover, since October 2009, Japan has been a member of the International Contact Group (ICG), which performs such roles as giving advice to the parties concerned on the Mindanao Peace Process and participating in peace talks as observers.