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Japan extends new P34-M grant for Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines—Living up to its promise of continued support for the Philippines’ peace and development efforts the Japanese government has made a fresh donation of over P34 million to the Philippine to help rebuild conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

The new aid brought to more than P6 billion the total official development assistance in grants and loans the Japanese government has extended to the Philippines under the J-BIRD program or the  Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development launched in 2006.

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The additional fund will go to eight projects, including the construction of school buildings in Maguindanao and North Cotabato, as well as post-harvest facilities in Lanao del Sur, according to the Japanese Embassy.

In a statement, the embassy said “this new package of assistance will form part of Japan’s commitment to support peace and development efforts in Mindanao.”

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According to the mission, the package includes the construction of school buildings in Sultan sa Barongis and Pagalungan, both in Maguindanao, and Magpet and Carmen, North Cotabato; post-harvest facilities in Bubong and agricultural training center in Wao,  both in Lanao del Sur; and the installation of hospital equipment at the Cotabato Sanitarium in North Cotabato.

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles earlier signed the J-BIRD grant contracts.

The embassy also disclosed that Tokyo would continue its participation in the Mindanao peace process’ International Monitoring Team.

“In addition, Japan is a member of the International Contact Group, which performs such roles as giving advice to the parties concerned in the Mindanao peace process and participating in peace talks as observers,” the embassy said.

“In this context, Japan strongly supports the efforts by all parties concerned to end the long-standing conflict in Mindanao through the peace process, and strongly hopes that peace talks between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will come up with a negotiated and peaceful settlement to end the decades-long armed conflict and for the people to (enjoy) the dividends of peace,” it added.

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TAGS: Foreign affairs, Moro Insurgency, News, Official Development Aid
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