Japan is set to donate 1.1 billion yen (approx. US$10.7 million) to the Philippines within the next 4 years. The funds will help the country purchase equipment that will enhance maritime security in light of rising tensions within the region.
According to an official from the Philippine arm of Japan International Cooperation Agency Juan Paulo Fajardo, “It’s a multiyear grant project that begins this year and is expected to be completed by 2017.” The funding will benefit the Philippine Coast Guard directly as it would be used to purchase a vessel traffic management system for the central-most island of the country, Cebu and installation of a transportable satellite-based communication system. With the new systems in place, the two governments hope that improvements in navigation will be in order to lessen maritime accidents in the country.
Japan will also donate an additional 100 million yen ($977,000) for projects in the southernmost island of Mindanao in the Philippines. With the conclusion of the Bangsamoro peace pact between the Philippine government and Muslim Moro rebels, many are hoping that further development will happen in the poverty-stricken island, beginning with infrastructure and other “quick-impact” projects. Philippine Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balicasan and JICA Philippines chief official Noriaki Niwa both signed the grant deal.
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