Japan grants P33.4-B development aid for PhilippinesBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Japan has approved the release of 61.4 billion yen (about P33.4 billion) in fresh development aid to the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.
The funds will go to eight infrastructure projects, including the Central Luzon Link Expressway (22.8 billion yen) and flood control works in the Pasig and Lower Marikina river channels (11.8 billion yen).
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe signed the development assistance documents during simple rites at the DFA in Pasay City on Thursday.
Of the eight projects, two will be funded by grants: provision of disaster risk management equipment for Philippine Institure of Volcanology and the Department of Public Works and Highways, worth one billion yen; and the construction of the Umiray bridge in Quezon, with an allocation of 1.4 billion yen.
In a statement issued Thursday, the Japanese Embassy said the first project aimed to “improve disaster mitigation works with enhanced capability in emergency response and infrastructure integrity assessment through equipment and technology,” and “efficiently provide fast and reliable volcano, earthquake and tsunami warning to the Office of Civil Defense.”
The Umiray bridge project aims to “improve the mobility of people and agricultural products and uplift the living conditions of the communities in General Nakar, Quezon, and Dingalan, Aurora.”
The Central Luzon Link Expressway will “improve access to the food baskets of Cagayan Valley and Aurora province, as well as the eastern part of the Cordillera Administrative Region for safer and faster movement of people and goods going to Metro Manila and Central Luzon.”
The improvement of the Pasig and Lower Marikina river channels is aimed at mitigating flood damage to Metro Manila caused by channel overflows.
Among the other projects covered by the package are an arterial road bypass along the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway (4.6 billion yen) that will ease traffic congestion and improve transportation capacity in the Plaridel, Bulacan, area; flood risk management for the Cagayan, Tagoloan (Bukidnon) and Imus (Cavite) river basins (7.54 billion yen), which will mitigate flood damage in these areas; national irrigation sector rehabilitation and improvement (6.18 billion yen), which will improve rice production and increase the income of farmers; and sustainable agrarian and agricultural development for Mindanao (6.06 billion yen).