Updates Per Peace Table

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Japan to fund dev’t projects for conflict-affected Mindanao

MANILA – The Japanese government, through its Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) program, is set to formalize its funding of seven projects for conflict-affected areas in Mindanao during the Grant Contract Signing of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) at the Astoria Plaza Hotel, Ortigas Center on March 24, 2015. 

The new grant contract will be signed by the Japanese ambassador to the Philippines and the beneficiaries in an event hosted by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

The list of approved projects includes the provision of pre and postharvest facilities for the farmers of Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat; the provision of medical equipment and fixtures for the delivery room of the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center; the construction of an outpatient building of rural health unit in Vincenzo Sagun; the construction of Classrooms for Dumadalig Integrated School in Tantangan, South Cotabato; the acquisition of two units of light hauling vehicles for the Rizal Molave Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Zamboanga del Sur; the construction of classrooms for Manglicmot High School in Alamada, North Cotabato; and the construction of classrooms for Patadon Elementary School in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato.

“We are thankful for the continued support of our international partners in the pursuit of peace and development in Mindanao, especially Japan,” OPAPP Undersecretary for Programs Maria Cleofe Gettie Sandoval said. "On behalf not only of OPAPP but most especially of our people in conflict-affected Mindanao, we extend our gratitude to our partners." 

The program, which started in December 2006, is designed “to contribute to the peace process and development in the Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (CAAM) and the surrounding areas in the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao),” according to the website of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines. Projects funded under the program include the construction and rehabilitation of schools, training centers, water supply systems, and health centers, and the provision of post-harvest facilities and equipment, among others. 

The event highlights the implementation of GGP projects as a milestone in the peace process, especially as it "complements the efforts of the Philippine Government in improving socio-economic conditions of individuals affected by armed conflict in Mindanao." 

“We are heartened by the support from the international community,” she added. “This highlights the need to continue with the peace process. We take their support as recognition that this peace process is legitimate, that this peace process is important, that this peace process can prosper if we all work for it." 

"We have much more work left to do in this peace process," Sandoval said. "But with our international partners continuing to work for peace and development, and with more and more of our people speaking out for peace, we believe we can collectively and peacefully find and establish a lasting solution in Mindanao."