THE Japan Embassy led the turnover ceremony of “The Project for the Construction of Classrooms-Evacuation Center for Almacen Elementary School in Hermosa, Bataan.”
The event, which was held on July 26, was attended by Hiroyuki Enoki, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan (EOJ), Antonio Joseph Inton, Municipal Mayor of Hermosa, Elma Dizon, District Supervisor of Department of Education-Bataan; Julieta Bernaldo, Prinicipal of the Almacen Elementary School, and other guests from the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Hermosa including the students and parents of the said school.
The municipality of Hermosa is often constrained by heavy floods because of its geographic peculiarity. Sometimes, heavy floods bring about up to two-meter elevation of water level in the area where the Almacen Elementary School is located. This situation further causes the closure of the school of an average of 30 school days per year. Moreover, there were no evacuation facilities for the residents in the area. Therefore, it is an urgent need for the school to have elevated classrooms which can also be used by residents of nearby communities as evacuation centers during calamities.
In 2014, under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), the Embassy of Japan provided assistance to the municipal government of Hermosa amounting to US$ 100,220 or approximately P4.4 million for the construction of an elevated school building with four classrooms on the second floor. Through this project, the EOJ hopes to provide not only a conducive learning environment to around 450 students and teachers but also a safe evacuation center to around 600 residents of nearby barangays in times of flooding.
Meanwhile, the Embassy of Japan’s First Secretary Kenji Terada, together with Japan Information and Culture Center’s (JICC) Sectional Representative Yoshiyuki Ueno, Department of Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Herman Ongkiko, Quezon Province Administrator Ronemel Edaño, Agdangan Municipal Mayor Rhadam Aguilar led the turnover ceremony of the farm-to-market road in the Municipality of Agdangan, Quezon Province.
Around 200 farmers from four barangays witnessed the event on July 29.
The project was constructed under Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Program (ARISP) and was funded through the Japan Official Development Assistance program. The total loan support for this project amounts to ¥11.802-billion or equivalent to P5.131-billion.
ARISP aims to improve farm efficiency, mobility of farm products and commercial goods, and enhance the quality of life of farmers. This area is famous for coconut product plantations, where farmers used horses to deliver coconuts before this program. Through this program, farmer can efficiently deliver coconuts in vehicle and process oil, sugar, soap and any other products using copra, a coconut by-product.