On March 26, Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe turned over grant contracts for different projects to three communities in the Philippines.
These projects include: construction of classrooms and a training room for Tagbilaran City central SPED Center amounting to $99,927; construction of barangay health stations and procurement of medical equipment in municipality of Coron, Palawan amounting to $99,162; and construction of classrooms-evacuation center for Almacen Elementary School in Hermosa, Bataan amounting to $100,220. All funds approximately equivalent to P4.4 million came from the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
Tagbilaran City Central SPED Center is the only public authorized school for special education in Bohol province. This center has been providing not only academic education but also vocational trainings like cooking and sewing for physically and mentally challenged students.
Currently, the center owns only six classrooms and borrows 10 classrooms from neighboring schools to accommodate its students. As the number of enrollees increases, the center sees an urgent need to construct additional classrooms.
Through GGP, Tagbilaran City Central SPED Center will be funded for construction of five classrooms with basic school furniture to improve 454 students’ learning environment.
In Coron, around 40 percent or approximately 17,000 residents are situated in remote islands. These people regularly experience difficulty in accessing health services, thus, resulting to high incidence of minor to severe health problems or even death.
Because of lack of birthing facilities, around 80 percent of women deliver babies in their houses, which is not safe both for the mothers and the new born babies. Therefore, construction of health stations with birthing facility in remote islands is of an urgent need.
Through the grant, the Palawan municipality will be funded for the construction of two health stations in Barangay Lajala and Barangay Banuang Daan, both remote islands, with birthing facility and basic medical equipment (respirator, oxygen tank, stethoscope and sphygmomanometer etc.) to improve access to basic health services of around 2,900 residents.
Lastly, the Almacen Elementary School regularly experiences heavy floods due to its geographic conditions. Sometimes the water level reaches two meters high resulting to loss of 30 school days on average school year. Heavy flood deteriorates the learning environment with high humidity, leading to poor health and low academic performance of the students.
With the project, the municipality of Hermosa will be funded for construction of a school building which has four classrooms on the second floor to avoid damage from floods. This building can also be used as an evacuation center in times of heavy floods, so the beneficiaries of the project will be 440 pupils, 16 teachers and around 600 residents in the nearby communities.
Under the GGP scheme, nearly 500 projects have been implemented since 1989 to provide “Human Security” in the Philippines. Japan has been supporting the people of the Philippines at the grassroots level. This project will further promote strategic partnership between Japan and Philippines.