THE JAPAN International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing a 1.8-billion yen (P714 million) grant for projects intended to support the peace process in the Bangsamoro region.
In a statement on Tuesday, JICA said it has signed a grant agreement this week with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for the funds that will be used for the reconstruction of infrastructures relating to socioeconomic development.
Among these are farm-to-market roads in conflict-affected areas as well as manpower and development centers in Marawi City, Basilan province, and the town of Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao.
“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,” JICA Chief Representative Sakamoto Takema said during the agreement signing.
“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,” he said.
The projects were identified through the Bangsamoro Infrastructure Needs Survey conducted from December 2018 to February 2019 by JICA.
“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.
JICA has been supporting the peace-building process in the Bangsamoro since 2006 through various programs on governance capacity-building, infrastructure, and community development, among others. — MSJ