Thursday, May 04, 2006
Japan maintains support for ARMM's social dev't
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expressed its continuing support for social development of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the visit of JICA Representatives at the Office of the Regional Governor on May 2, 2006.
The purpose of the visit according to Mr. Michimasa Numata, JICA Expert and ARMM ODA Advisor is to be able to understand the national and social condition of ARMM and to discuss with ARMM officials the priority projects and programs of ARMM for its social and economic development.
"JICA is serious in committing support for social development of ARMM. This is to further the cooperation of our government to the autonomous region," Numata said during a briefing on the Request Survey for Technical Cooperation (JFY 2007) and General Grant Aid (JFY 2008).
Numata inquired from the ARMM officials present during the briefing headed by ARMM Cabinet Secretary Atty. Mustapha A. Sambolawan who is also the ARMM focal person to the JICA, RPDO Executive Director Diamadel Dumagay, Technical Management Services Executive Director Bassit Accoy and Bureau of Public Information Executive Director Samson Gogo what are the primary concerns of the regional government today while acknowledging the ARMM presentation of concerns made by Director Dumagay is very comprehensive.
Dumagay said the regional government has specific listing on the programs and projects for the region anchored on the five (5) Key Priority Areas of Concerns expressed by ARMM Regional Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan during his First State of the Region Address.
The five priority programs are on peace and public order and Security; Economic development; social services development; infrastructure and administrative support. The request survey activity is a process conducted annually by the Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the JICA Philippine Office and it is aimed at grasping the needs of the Government of the Philippines for Japanese Technical Cooperation and Grant Aid.
Priority issues and areas for GOJ-JICA assistance include strengthening of the economic structure for sustainable growth and the removal of impediments to such growth; mitigation of disparities which to include poverty alleviation and mitigation of regional disparities; environmental conservation and disaster management and human resources development and' institution building.
As part of the human resources development and institution building support of JICA to the regional government, Director Gogo said that most of the officials and some key staff of ARMM were able to attend management training courses facilitated by the Asian Management Institute (AIM) in Makati City.
GOJ-JICA's major cooperation schemes include Technical Cooperation Project (TCP), Development Study, Support for Grant Aid, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, Group Training in Japan and Follow-up Cooperation.
According to the briefing given by the JICA, the possible components of TCP include trainings (Training in Japan, In-Country, Third Country, Long Term), Expert Dispatch, Equipment Supply, Facility Development, Research Support and Community Empowerment while Grant Aid include construction and equipping of facilities, public health, medical care, agriculture, water supply and basic education and environmental conservation.
JICA representatives stressed during the briefing that JICA is not a funding agency and JICA does not provide cash grant. Qualified proponent agencies for the request survey are the national government agencies, state universities and colleges and local government units to include the autonomous region.
The JICA delegation includes Mr. Hiroyasu Tonokawa, JICA Assistant Resident Representative for Grassroots Program, Ms. Aya Kano, JICA Experts for Mindanao Concerns and Mr. Peter Carreon, JICA Program Assistant Grassroots Section. (BPI-ARMM)