Japan hands over of 225 metric tons of rice in the Municipality of Balo-i, Lanao del Norte on January 12 under the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).
Representatives from the Embassy of Japan, together with APTERR Secretariat General Manager Chanpithya Shimphalee, National Food Authority Administrator Jason Aquino, Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Luzviminda Ilagan and Municipal Vice Mayor of Balo-i Mustapha Ali led the handing over of rice to 300 displaced persons from Marawi at the Mahad Markazie Evacuation Center.
An estimated 7,485 families and around 45,000 people are staying at 12 evacuation centers located in the Municipality of Balo-i. In Mahad Markazie Evacuation Center, one of the evacuation centers in Balo-i, 125 families stay the temporary housing which was built within the compounds of an Arabic School. According to an official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, they will stay at the evacuation center until April.
APTERR is a regional food security mechanism of mutual cooperation among Asean+3 countries which started in 2002 during the Asean+3 Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF+3). In 2017, Japan provided rice stocks not only to the Philippines, but also to the Laos People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar. Japan will continue to support displaced people from Marawi and the rehabilitation of Marawi City, as well as contribute to food security in the Eastern Asia Region.