Japan has extended a 1.117 billion yen (about P500 million) grant to help fund community development projects in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
The grant agreement was on Monday by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Noriaki Niwa, representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency – Philippine Office.
The aid will be used to rehabilitate and construct farm-to-market roads in Bumbaran in Lanao del Sur, Datu Paglas in Maguindanao and Alamada in North Cotabato.
“Through linking target farm villages to major highways, the project is expected to enhance the welfare of farmers that rely largely in crop production as their main source of livelihood,” Balisacan, who is also the director-general of the National Economic Development Authority, said after signing the agreement..
The grant was made possible through the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development.
The community development project, to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture, was endorsed through diplomatic channels on September 17, 2014.
“We look forward to the attainment of full benefits from this undertaking and eventually to the enjoyment of ‘dividends of peace’ in Mindanao through the implementation of various peace and development programs in the area,” Balisacan said.