Turnover of Japan-funded classrooms in South Cot

A TURNOVER ceremony was held on November 24, 2016 for “The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Dumadalig Integrated School in Tantangan, South Cotabato”.

The ceremony was attended by Mr. Hiroyuki Enoki, First Secretary and Labour Attaché of the Embassy of Japan (EOJ), provincial government officials of South Cotabato represented by Governor Daisy P. Avance-Fuentes and Vice Governor Vicente R. De Jesus, and Vice Mayor Time Joy Torres-Gonzales of Municipality of Tantangan.

The teachers, students and parents of the said school also joined the event. This project is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

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Dumadalig Integrated School is a public school in the province of South Cotabato which had congested classrooms. In order to accommodate all the students, the school was conducting two classes in a single room while others were occupying a gym as a classroom. This situation forced the students to study under poor learning environment.

To address this problem, the Embassy of Japan decided to support the provincial government of South Cotabato through the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) with the grant amounting to USD 97,334 or approximately PhP4 million in 2015. This grant covered construction of three units of two classroom buildings with attached toilets as well as school furniture for Dumadalig Integrated School.

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It aims to provide safe and proper learning environment for the benefits of around 700 pupils of this school. The EOJ hopes that improving the learning environment of children would also play an important role in the achievement of peace and development in Mindanao.

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. To date, there are 519 grassroots projects that 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-M USD. Furthermore, when former President Aquino made a state visit to Japan last 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, in view of the establishment of a new autonomous political entity.

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