SOUTH COTABATO - The Japan government has turned over two classroom buildings and school furniture worth P4.3-million to the South Cotabato Provincial Government at Dumadalig Integrated School in Tantangan town.
The First Secretary and Labor Attache of the Embassy of Japan in Manila Hiruyuki Enoki, and South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes led the formal turnover in Barangay Dumadalig on November 24, Thursday.
Avance-Fuentes said the construction of the three units of two classroom buildings with furniture will help 270 students from Grade 7 to Grade 10.
She added that the project will be able to provide an environment conducive for learning.
The governor also said that the project was funded under Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project. She added that initiative is a component of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-Bird).
Enoki recalled that he was informed about the congested classrooms with class sizes beyond the Department of Education's (Deped) standard two years ago. He said the classes were conducted in makeshift and dilapidated rooms and in the mini-gym.
"This has resulted to poor quality of instruction delivery and lower academic performance. To address the problem, the Embassy of Japan provided support to provincial government amounting US$ 97,334 or around P4-million last year for the project," Enoki said.
Enoki said the Japanese government supports community-based organizations that are working at the grassroots level because they believe that if they will continue the support everywhere, this will lead to the development of the country.
"Just like in education, bright futures for our children can be achieved if we can provide them first with quality basic education. By constructing the primary and secondary educational facilities, children will have a place where they can learn and become better members of the society," Enoki said.
He added that this is the reason Japan implements not only big scale projects such as Jica's but also small schemes, like the Dumadalig project, through the Grants Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
Enoki said they believe that these activities will contribute to the peace process in Mindanao. He added that Japan has intensively provided various assistance in Mindanao under the J-Bird since 2006, to promote peace and development in Mindanao.
"I wish that all the Japanese assistance, including this [classroom buildings and furniture] will serve as a symbol of the friendship and strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan. Rest assured the Japan government, as the top donor of this country, will provide development assistance," Enoki said.
Enoki was joined by the other embassy officials Yosuke Tamabayashi, first secretary and member of the International Monitoring Team Socio-Economic Assistance Team; and Miwa Yamatoya, second secretary and press officer from Japan Embassy based in Manila.