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Japan grants US$20-M for rehab of Yolanda-hit areas in East Visayas

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By: Erlinda Olivia P. Tiu

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, April 28 (PIA) – The Japanese Government through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) is providing some US$20-million grant for the rehabilitation effort in Eastern Visayas.

The said fund will benefit about 1.2 million individuals from 74 municipalities in the region that was hit hardest by Typhoon Yolanda.

It was learned that of this amount, about US$3 million will be used for rehabilitation projects to be implemented through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the three core poverty alleviation programs of the national government which is being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Kalahi-CIDSS targets the speedy rehabilitation of 220 small-scale municipal and community infrastructures in 13 municipalities using the community-driven development (CDD) strategy, a development approach that focuses on empowering and building up the capacities of citizens and local government units so they will be able to lift their own communities out of poverty.

The implementation of the funding started earlier this month, with the groundbreaking of the construction of a two-classroom building within the compound of Bislig Elementary School in Barangay Bislig, Tanauan, Leyte.

Aside from the construction of the new classrooms, 10 old classrooms will also be repaired with a budget of P7.08 million.

During the groundbreaking activity, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman cited the good Kalahi-CIDSS implementation of this town as the reason why it was chosen as one of the municipalities that will benefit from the JFPR grant.

She said that the involvement of the community was proof of the commitment to become an active part in the rehabilitation process.

She disclosed that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao visited Bislig Elementary School sometime in February during which he committed to help in the rehabilitation of the campus.

It was learned that the ADB is the administrator of the JFPR grant.

Meanwhile, in the same activity, Mr. James A. Nugent, Director-General of the ADB Southeast Asia Department, said that the reason why ADB is highly active in the post-‘Yolanda’ rehabilitation efforts is because the Philippines is “ADB’s home.”

Moreover, it was learned that some US$8 million from the JFPR grant will be allotted by DSWD for the Sustainable Livelihood Program, another poverty alleviation program of the national government. The funds will be used to provide access to emergency employment and livelihood support that will cover one million individuals in 912 barangays in 20 municipalities with an average of 35.5% poverty incidence. (PIA 8)