Japan is financing another huge development project in Mindanao designed to enhance the productivity of its farmers, thereby ensuring food security and self-sufficiency for the country. The Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC) said Tokyo, through its Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is extending to the Philippines a 6.063-billion-yen (P2.75-billion) loan package to finance a project called Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian Reform and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD). The five-year project was launched on September 3, 2013, in Davao City.
The MinSAAD project will provide small-scale agricultural infrastructure, including irrigation facilities, post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market roads, and capacity-building support in 12 selected settlement areas in three regions in Mindanao covering 205 barangays and 25 towns. Around 70,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries are expected to directly benefit from the project. The undertaking is expected to cause a beneficial ripple effect on the more than 400,000 residents of the 12 settlement areas.
The JICA loan is complemented with R1.1-billion counterpart fund from the Philippine government. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) serves as the lead implementing agency, along with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and other government agencies.
The Japanese government is the leading donor in Mindanao. Bound by its basic principle of “human resources development, nation-building, and heart-to-heart communication,” JICA has undertaken various development and humanitarian projects all over the country that have greatly benefited the Filipino people since 1962.
The Manila Bulletin, led by its Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr. Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, Officers and Employees, congratulate people and government of Japan headed by Their Excellencies, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and through its Embassy in Manila led by Ambassador Toshinao Urabe for their generosity, kindness, and nobility of spirit of Japan in the Republic of the Philippines. MABUHAY!