Japan grants 5 more Mindanao projects

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COTABATO CITY: Japan awarded five more grassroots projects in conflict-affected communities in Mindanao with a grant assistance in addition to 82 previous grants in its continued commitment to bring peace and stability in the country under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD).

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Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa inked the contracts for the projects in a simple ceremony here on Monday with officials of recipient organizations.

The projects have been allocated with an over P20-million fund through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

The grant covers the procurement of equipment and construction of postharvest facilities in Barangay Kamasi in Ampatuan, Maguindanao for Lower Riverside Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative amounting to $94,973.

A grant for the construction of a tractor garage and procurement of a heavy duty farm tractor with accessories amounting to $79,659 was awarded to Lanao Intercultural Convergence for Development and Peace, Inc. recipients in Barangay Delabayan, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.

A two-storey six-classroom building for Al Azhaire Academy in Barangay Poblacion Mother in this city amounting to $101,494 was granted through Al-Amanah Humanitarian and Development Services, Inc.

The construction of a three-classroom and a two-classroom school building in Barangay Bayugan National Comprehensive High School in Bayugan, Agusan Del Sur amounting to $102,333 was granted through Philam Foundation, Inc.

A one unit, five storey classroom school building with toilets and the procurement of school equipment and fixtures for Kalbugan Elem. School in Pagalungan, Maguindanao amounting to $102,139 was granted through Mindanao Children’s Library Foundation, Inc.

Since its launch in 2006, the J-BIRD has already supported 87 grassroots projects costing US$7.67-million, Ishikawa said during the signing event.

He also recalled the state visit of President Benigno Aquino 3rd to Japan last June where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abestated that “the Government of Japan will promote the J-BIRD II, which is a new phase of the J-BIRD focusing more on economic autonomy in the Bangsamoro Area.”

The signing was witnessed by the commissioner of Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Abdullah Camlian, Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) member Senen Bacani, Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA) chair Safrullah Dipatuan, Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) chairperson Guiamel Alim and Takayuki Nakagawa, of Japan’s International Monitoring Team (IMT).

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