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Japan Commits PHP7.978 Billion ODA For Two Yen Loan And Four Grant Aid Projects

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1 . Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. Del Rosario exchanged notes for two (2) yen loan projects amounting to 19.505 billion yen (approximately 7.271 billion pesos) and four (4) grant aid projects amouting to 1.896 billion yen (approximately 707 million pesos) on March 26, 2015 at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines. On the same day, Chief Representative of JICA Philippine Office Noriaki Niwa and Secretary of Finance Cesar V. Purisima signed the loan agreements for the two yen loan projects. The two yen loan projects were announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the summit meeting with President Aquino November 2014.

2 . The signed projects focus on improvement in the fields of transportation, disaster risk reduction, and development of Mindanao.

(1) Yen Loan Projects

a . Metro Manila Interchange Construction Project (PhaseVI) (7.929 billion yen (approximately 2.956 billion pesos)) This project aims to alleviate serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila through the construction of four (4) grade-separated interchanges. Better transportation efficiency will contribute to sustainable economic development in the Philippines through the improvement of urban environment and investment conditions.

(2) Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan de Oro River (11.576 billion yen (approximately 4.316 billion pesos))

This project aims at strengthening the resiliency of the communities along the Cagayan de Oro River stretch to hydrometeorological hazards by mitigating flood risk in the area through the implementation of structual and non-structural measures. This disaster risk reduction effort will improve vulnerability in the area and create a safe and sustainable environment for the people.

(3) Grant Aid Projects

a . Project for Community Development in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (1.117 billion yen (approximately 416 million pesos)) This project will construct farm-to-market roads in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, and North Cotabato. As a part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), the Japanese government's assistance package in support of peace and development in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, this will contribute to poverty reduction and peace in the area through the improvement of the livelihoods of local residents.

b . Mini-Hydro Power Development Project in the Province of Ifugao (922 million yen (approximately 344 million pesos)) This project will construct a mini-hydropower plant (810kW) in Ifugao Province. This project will promote the usage of domestic resources of renewable energy to sustain rice terrace conservation and CO2 reduction. This agreement will increase the amount of the grant agreed upon in 2013 from 893 million yen to 922 million yen.

c . Non-Project Grant Aid for Provision of Japanese SME's Products (250 million yen (approximately 93.2 million pesos)) This project aims to contribute to the development in the Philippines through the utilization of products made by Japan's SMEs, which are excellent but sometimes not so well known outside of Japan. The specific products to be provided under this project will be decided in accordance with the Philippine Government's requests. Probable products to be purchased are equipment relating to disaster prevention such as disaster information sharing system and disaster prevention facilities.

d . Non-Project Grant Aid for Japanese Disaster Reduction Equipment (500 million yen (approximately 186 million pesos)) This project aims to support the promotion of the economic and social development of the Philippines by utilizing disaster reduction related products of Japanese enterprises. The specific products to be provided under these projects will be decided in accordance with the Philippine Government's requests.

3 . These projects will support the efforts by the Philippine Government and the Filipino people in achieving "Inclusive Growth," as described in the "Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016" issued by the Philippine Government, from the viewpoint of the improvement of infrastructure, disaster risk reduction, and peace and development. Grant aid project 2 b. is also in line with financial assistance aiming to accelerate developing countries' measures against climate change. Japan believes that these projects 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.