Japan commits P33.6-B for 9 projects under Phl Development Plan 2011-2016

March 30, 2012 10:51 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, March 30 — Notes for a total of nine Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans and grant-aids amounting to about P33.594 billion (Yen 61.663 billion) were exchanged recently between Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Japanese Ambassador to Manila Toshinao Urabe.

Six notes were for ODA loans amounting to P32.15 billion (Yen 59.019 billion) and two for grant-aid projects amounting to P1.30 billion (Yen 2.394 billion) were exchanged on March 29 at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City.

Earlier on March 21, a note for grant-aid projects amounting to about P136 million (Yen 250 million) was also signed.

The projects to be funded by the multi-billion-peso deal covers road construction, disaster prevention such as river improvement, and agricultural development such as rehabilitation of irrigation facilities.

Noting that the Japanese government is happy to be involved in the Philippines’ development efforts, Urabe said “they will strengthen not only the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines, but also the existing strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines.”

Urabe said Japan is steadfast in its support of “the efforts by the Philippine government and the Filipino people in achieving Inclusive Growth, as described in the “Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.”

He noted that the five-year plan is issued “in a comprehensive way from the viewpoint of achieving sustainable economic growth through improvement of investment environment, overcoming vulnerability to natural disaster and stabilization of production base.”

The six ODA beneficiaries of the current Yen Notes are the Central Luzon Link Expressway Project, which is valued at P12.419 billion (Yen 22.796 billion).

Such funding would improve logistics transportation between Metro Manila and Central Luzon through the expansion of the Subic-Clark-Manila-Batangas Corridor northward.

A 31-kilometer expressway connecting the cities of Tarlac and Cabanatuan is a key feature of the expansion.

An Arterial Road Bypass (Phase II) along the Philippines-Japan Friendship Highways that is projected to ease traffic around Plaridel town in Bulacan province is also another project, worth P2.501 billion.

The third project, Phase III of the Pasig-Marikina River Channel improvement, worth about P6.5 billion, utilizes Japanese technologies for disaster prevention, including structural measures such as construction and improvement of revetments and dredging along the Pasig-Marikina river.

A Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan River, Tagoloan River and Imus River, worth P4.111 billion, aims to mitigate flood damage, to include the preparation of hazard maps of the target areas along the three basins.

About P3.371 billion is for the rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, institutional strengthening of Irrigators Association for operation and maintenance, and agricultural support throughout the Philippines. With this rehabilitation project, rice productivity is expected to be enhanced, among others, the Japanese embassy said.

A project for Mindanao’s development, valued at P3.303 billion, calls for the construction of small-scale irrigation facilities, farm-to-market roads, and capacity building for farmers in agrarian reform areas in the southern region.

All these ODA loans are in line with the financial assistance up to 2012 that the government of Japan announced in December 2009, the embassy said, as it stressed that they "aim to accelerate developing countries’ measures against climate change."

Based on the outcome of COP 17 (Conference of the Parties of 17 signatories on climate change in Durban), Japan will cooperate with the Philippines in the issue of climate change for pursuing a fair and effective international framework with the participation of all major emitters. (PNA) scs/GJB

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