Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa recently signed five grant contracts with respective recipient organizations for various social development projects in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao on March 14 at Alnor Hotel in Cotabato City, Maguindanao.
These projects are funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) implemented by the Embassy of Japan as part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD).
The signing ceremony were attended by Secretary Senen Bacani, Member of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with Moro Islamic Liberation, Commissioner Abdulla Camlian of The Bangsamoro Transition Commission, and Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan, Chairman of Bangsamoro Development Authority.
The new package of assistance, amounting to $480,598 (approximately P20 million), will form part of Japan’s commitment to peace and development efforts in Mindanao. The package includes three projects in education and two projects in agriculture.
Since the launch of J-BIRD in 2006, Japan has supported 87 grant assistances including the above-mentioned projects with a total amount of 7.67 million US dollars through GGP under J-BIRD.
When President Aquino made a state visit to Japan last June, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, expressed at their summit meeting his support for efforts by the Government of the Philippines to secure enduring peace in Mindanao, and stated that the Government of Japan will promote the J-BIRD II, in view of the establishment of a new autonomous political entity.