June 15, 2022
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) signed a 1.8 billion-Japanese yen grant agreement (G/A) this week to further promote and stabilize the peace process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) through urgent reconstruction of the Provincial/City Manpower and Development Center (PCMD) in Marawi City and improvement of other socioeconomic infrastructures.
The grant project Programme for the Urgent Improvement of Socioeconomic Infrastructure in Bangsamoro Region will also include improving the Regional Manpower Training Center in the Municipality of Sultan Kudarat and Basilan as well as improving farm-to-market roads in some barangays in conflict-affected areas.
"Based on thorough understanding of the aspirations and challenges of our counterparts on the ground, our projects aim to realize build back better society and generate high quality growth for the Bangsamoro people with the concept of sustainability, resilience and inclusiveness. We hope that this grant assistance project generates economic growth in the midst of changing times, which contributes to the stability and prosperity of the whole Philippines. JICA has been and will be always the closest and the most reliable partner of the people in the Philippines." said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema.
Sites of the subprojects include Marawi City, the Municipality of Sultan Kudarat and Basilan among other conflict-affected areas. The Bangsamoro Infrastructure Needs Survey, conducted from December 2018 to February 2019 by JICA, served as basis for the potential socioeconomic infrastructure projects that the G/A will support.
"The signing of the Grant Agreement for the Programme for the Urgent Improvement of Socioeconomic Infrastructure in Bangsamoro will further strengthen the cooperation between our two governments. Through the rebuilding and improvement of the techno-vocational training centers and the construction of farm-to-market-roads, we expect more accessible economic opportunities as people are empowered through skills development and enrichment and improvement of market trade." NEDA Secretary Karl Chua said about the grant project.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim said, "By reconstructing a technical and vocational center in Marawi City and improving other socioeconomic infrastructures across the BARMM, JICA helps us in providing better opportunities for our people and a more sustainable region for all".
"Nation building starts with human resource development, and this project… will be one major step towards providing useful and practical vocational training opportunities to the people in Marawi, Sultan Kudarat and Basilan, as well as people in the surrounding areas." said Japan Ambassador to the Philippines KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko.
JICA has been supporting the peacebuilding process in the Bangsamoro with the Government of the Philippines and Japan through J-BIRD (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development) since 2006. Its recent projects for peace and development in Mindanao include the Comprehensive Capacity Development Project for the Bangsamoro (CCDP), Capacity Development Project for the Bangsamoro (CDPB) for building the foundation of governance, strengthening public service delivery and community development and dispatch JICA experts as special advisors. JICA has also emphasized on economic development through loan and grant projects such as USD 202M Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (RNDP-CAAM) linking Mindanao's key cities as well as the program for support for rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City and its surrounding areas.
Read the full statements of the officials above in the attachments.
NEDA Secretary Karl Chua and JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema remotely signed the Grant Agreement.