Thursday, 28 May 2009

Tokyo gives $42M grant aid to the Philippines

http://www.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2000665&Itemid=2

MANILA (PNA) -- Tokyo has provided P2 billion ($42M) grant aid to Manila to finance the installation of weather monitoring system and the construction of bridges, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

The agency said the governments of Japan and the Philippines signed the grant on Wednesday through Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Ralph G. Recto and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), represented by JICA-Philippines Chief Representative Norio Matsuda.

The projects include the Improvement of the Meteorological Radar System in the Philippines worth P1.64 billion; P302 million worth bridge construction for expanded agrarian reform communities development and the P149 million grant aid for human resource development scholarship.

“We appreciate the Japanese government’s initiative to provide, among others, radar systems, dams and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure such as bridges in the country. These equipment and infrastructure support are very much aligned with one of the Philippine government’s priorities, that is, natural disaster prevention and mitigation,” Recto said.

The radar system project, with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) as proponent, involves the replacement of three existing meteorological radar systems in Aparri, Cagayan; Virac, Catanduanes; and Guian, Samar.

The radar system project aims to effectively prevent damages caused by tropical storms or typhoons by enhancing the capability of PAGASA in weather monitoring and weather information or warning dissemination.

The diplomatic exchange of notes for this project was signed last March 30.

Meanwhile, the Bazal bridge construction project involves the construction and replacement of existing wooden bridge that crosses Bazal river along the boundary between two barangays in Maria Aurora, Aurora province.

The grant agreement for the conduct of the detailed design study for this project was signed by Recto and Matsuda last April 20.

The JDS, another Japan grant-assisted project, aims to provide qualified Filipinos with the opportunity to obtain Master’s degree at Japanese universities to support the human resource development policy of Japan, and eventually to extend and strengthen the bilateral relationship between Japan and the Philippines

The JDS project funds 20 scholarship slots for young Filipino government employees who are expected to play leadership roles in the Philippines and those who will contribute to the socioeconomic development of the country in the following fields of study: Economics, Business Administration, Public Administration, Information and Communications Technology, and Industrial Development.

About 84 scholars out of 159 grantees had graduated and came back to use their skills and knowledge gained in Japan while 50 grantees have ongoing studies in Japan and 25 more successful candidates were selected under the seventh batch for July 2009 intake.

The exchange of notes for the eighth batch of JDS scholars was signed last May 19. (PNA)

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