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PIA Press Release

Japan, RP sign 19.4-B Japanese yen ODA loan for infrastructure projects

Davao City (4 December) -- Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Makoto Katsura and Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Rafael Seguis signed and exchanged notes on two Japanese ODA loan projects, namely, the "Pinatubo Hazard Urgent Mitigation Project (Phase III)" and the "Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (Phase III)" on December 3, 2007 at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City.

These ODA projects reaffirm Japan's commitment to support the Philippine Government's efforts in disaster prevention and management as well as poverty alleviation in the rural areas. The signing and exchanging of notes officially marked the appropriation of 19.406 billion yen (approximately 7.685 billion pesos) for these two projects.

The government of Japan extends 7.604 billion yen (approximately 3.011 billion pesos) for the Pinatubo Hazard Urgent Mitigation Project (Phase III). The project, which will be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will support the overall recovery efforts in Central Luzon from the damage caused by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991. The project constitutes a part of the Subic-Clark Development Initiative—a program promoted by the Philippine Government to develop the area as a logistic hub of the Asian regional economy. Japan has already been actively engaged in rehabilitation around Sacobia-Bamban and Pasig-Potrero rivers in Phases I and II. However, the problem remains in the Porac-Gumain river basin which is still clogged by mud flow caused by the eruption, adversely affecting the surrounding region during flood disasters. The Phase III project will include construction of drainage facilities, dikes and roads in order to mitigate possible future damages of inundation, to facilitate the flow of goods and to improve sanitation in the region.

The Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (Phase III), worth 11,802 billion yen (approximately 4.673 billion pesos) on the other hand, will focus on poverty reduction and increased livelihood opportunities in the rural areas nationwide through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, which is supervised by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Since 1995, Japan has supported the Philippine Government's efforts towards achieving agrarian reform through various projects under ARISP I and II and has continuously assisted agrarian reform beneficiaries in more than 220 agrarian reform communities throughout the country. The major component of the Phase III project involves enhancement of infrastructure such as small-sized irrigation facilities, setting-up of market information centers for inter-community cooperation and other initiatives that will improve productivity, capability and livelihood of farmers; thus enhancing self reliance of agrarian reform communities.

Both projects are expected to contribute to the development of targeted communities and further strengthen the partnership for comprehensive cooperation between Japan and the Philippines. Japan is the Philippines' largest source of ODA with assistance ranging from grants and loans to technical cooperation and development studies. (COJ Davao-PIA XI) [top]

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