January 16, 2018
The Philippines received the most number of commendations from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Award given by JICA headquarters in Tokyo.
Leading the awardees are National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan, the only Filipino among the eight non-Japanese individual recipients, and development projects on maternal and child health, Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery and maritime security cooperation. Three out of the nine projects given distinction worldwide were from the Philippines.
About 40 individuals and organizations all over the world are receiving the award.
Meanwhile, four individuals and groups are given JICA Chief Representative citations for their contribution to the strong relationship between JICA and the Philippines and impact of their work to development.
Undersecretary Tungpalan is given the award for his contribution in the strong bilateral relations of Japan and the Philippines while ensuring the success of JICA-Philippine projects through the years.
The formal awarding ceremony took place last week at the JICA Philippines Office in Makati City.
"This year's awardees show that we can collectively work together to transform lives for the better. As development partners for many years, JICA and the Philippines can contribute to building a caring society and lay the foundation for sustainable, inclusive development," said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito.
The Philippine awardees are the projects Cordillera-Wide Strengthening of Local Health System for Effective and Efficient Delivery of Maternal and Child Health Services; Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda; and Comprehensive and Continuous Cooperation with the Philippine Coast Guard.
The projects join a roster of other JICA-assisted projects for international development in Tajikistan, Brazil, Jamaica, Ghana, Jordan and Palestine. These projects focus on water supply management and disaster risk management among other issues.
Philippine counterparts Mary Mediatrix Villanueva of Dios Mabalos Foundation, Former Department of Public Works and Highways undersecretary Raul Asis, Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC), and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) are also recipients of the first JICA Chief Representative Award for their steadfast dedication in the successful implementation of development projects and long-standing relations with JICA in the Philippines.
The Philippines and JICA have long held trusted relationship with the Philippines ranked top 4 recipient of Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans all over the world in 2016, and top recipient of grant, and second leading recipient of technical cooperation assistance for same period.