South Cotabato is a recipient of a grant from the Japanese Government in the amount of USD 97,334.00 or equivalent to Php 4,088,028.00 as part of Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development or J-BIRD, a press statement released by the Embassy of Japan recently disclosed.
Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes as the signatory of the Memorandum of Understanding between the province and the Japanese Government will use the grant to construct a 1-unit classroom as well as the purchase of furniture and fixtures for Dumadalig Integrated School in Tantantagan.
The grant is funded through the donor’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
Seven (7) grant contracts were signed by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa to finance various social development projects in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao last March 24 at Astoria Plaza Hotel, Zamboanga City.
The signing ceremony was attended by Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo, Executive Director of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) Mohammad Suaib Yacob and Member of Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with Moro Islamic Liberation Front Senen Bacani, among others.
The new package of assistance, amounting to USD 645,879 or approximately Php 27 million will form part of Japan’s commitment to peace and development efforts in Mindanao.
The package includes 3 projects in education, 2 projects in agriculture and 2 projects in health.
Since the launch of J-BIRD in 2006, Japan has supported 82 GGP projects amounting to USD 7.19 million (as of March 2015), the press statement reported.