On March 15, Ambassador Koji Haneda attended the Ceremonial Handover of Japanese Construction Heavy Machineries and the Signing Ceremony of the Exchange of Notes with the UN-Habitat for Marawi Rehabilitation in Marawi City. From the Philippine side, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Assistant Secretary Felix Castro from Bangon Marawi, Vice Governor Alonto Adiong of Lanao del Sur, and Mayor Majul Gandamra of Marawi City joined the ceremony. From the UN-Habitat, Christopher Rollo, Country Program Manager of UN-Habitat Philippines attended the ceremony.
In the ceremony, Ambassador Haneda turned over in total of 27 large, high-quality Japanese heavy machineries that are provided with Japan’s grant to the Philippine government. The provision of these heavy machineries is based on the exchange of notes that was singed during a summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister in November 2017. They are provided to support the Philippines’ efforts in rehabilitating and rebuilding Marawi and its surrounding areas. These large, high-quality construction heavy machineries are expected to greatly contribute to the Philippines’ rehabilitation efforts.
Furthermore, at the ceremony, Ambassador Haneda signed the exchange of notes with Rollo of UN-Habitat Philippines to provide P500 million of grant for the reconstruction of Marawi. This Japan’s grant will support UN-Habitat’s program to provide core shelters and livelihood support for those affected by the Marawi incident.
Ambassador Haneda stated that as President Durterte says, Japan and the Philippines are “special friend(s) closer than brother(s)” and Japan will remain so throughout the entire endeavor of Marawi reconstruction. Executive Secretary Medialdea expressed his gratitude for Japan’s assistance and emphasized that Marawi will rise again. Secretary Villar thanked the people of Japan for extending warm assistance and stated hat he would make sure that these heavy machineries will be used well and efficiently for the welfare of the people of Marawi and Lanao del Sur. Assistant Secretary Castro, Vice Governor Adiong, and Mayor Gandamra all expressed their gratitude for Japan’s assistance.
The joint statement issued last October during a summit meeting between President Duterte and Prime Minister Abe states that “the Government of Japan recognizes that rehabilitation and reconstruction of the City of Marawi and its surrounding areas is extremely important for the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, and will extend the utmost support towards that end.” The ceremonial handover and the signing of the exchange of notes for Marawi rehabilitation is an embodiment of the joint statement.