Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda recently signed and exchanged notes with Food and Agriculture Organization Representative Jose Luis Fernandez and International Labor Organization Country Director Khalid Hassan for two projects in the Bangsamoro region, as witnessed by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez.
The FAO project, which amounts to $1.765 million, aims to assist farmers and fisherfolk, including former combatants, women, and indigenous peoples, in gaining various agricultural vocational skills.
These new knowledge and proficiencies will help them efficiently operate farms, gain employment, or set up their own businesses, Haneda said.
The ILO intervention, on the other hand, has a total budget of $2.66 million. It is seen to develop water infrastructure that will benefit an estimated 11,814 households. At least 1,800 workers from the target communities will be employed to help build the water supply facilities.
Both projects are deemed to provide sustainable livelihood and build healthier communities, which are key milestones to achieving peace and development in Mindanao.
These two undertakings form part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development, or J-BIRD to empower people and communities benefit from the dividends of peace.
From 2006 to date, Japan has provided a total of P13 billion or $260 million worth of assistance to the Bangsamoro region.
Two weeks before, two exchanges of notes were signed in Japan for non-project grant assistance to provide underground water detection and well-drilling machines to be deployed in Bangsamoro region, worth 560 million Japanese Yen (about P264 million), as well as the urgent rehabilitation of socio-economic infrastructure, particularly the rebuilding of TESDA training Center in Marawi, which amounts to 1.8 billion Japanese yen (about P847 million).
“All these endeavors will strengthen the momentum for peace and optimum development in this island,” Haneda said.