Japan extends P500-M aid for Mindanao rehabilitation
As part of its commitment to support peace and development efforts in Mindanao, the Japanese government on Monday extended a new donation of almost P500 million to the Philippines through a government-funded institution.
In a statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said the Philippines and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) inked a grant agreement providing 1.117 billion yen for community development projects of conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
Neda said the donation is particularly aimed at the construction of farm-to-market roads in Bumabaran, Lanao del Sur, Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, and Alamada, North Cotabato.
Neda Director-General Arsenio Balisacan represented the Philippine government in the signing, while Jica’s Noriaki Niwa represented Japan.
“Through linking target farm villages to major highways, the project is expected to enhance the welfare of farmers that rely largely in crop production as their main source of livelihood,” Balisacan said.
The grant agreement was made possible by the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development program, which was first launched in 2006.
Aside from the continued financial and technical aid it has been providing for Mindanao’s rehabilitation, Japan has also once expressed its desire to invest in the proposed Bangsamoro territory.
“We look forward to the attainment of full benefits from this undertaking and eventually to the enjoyment of ‘dividends of peace’ in Mindanao through the implementation of various peace and development programs in the area,” Balisacan added. IDL
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