Tuesday, February 2, 2016

JICA-backed plan sets projects for Mindanao's peace, development

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 2): JICA-backed plan sets projects for Mindanao's peace, development

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) outlined 26 anchor projects for peace and development in Mindanao under the final draft of the proposed Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) 2 or the Medium- to Long-Term Development Plan.

The Development Plan is among components of JICA’s Comprehensive Capacity Development Project for the Bangsamoro and is meant to act as useful reference or guide for the future development undertaking not just in the proposed Bangsamoro area but also in other Mindanao regions.

This week, BDA and the JICA study team presented the final draft to local and international stakeholders at a seminar in Manila.

“Regardless of the outcome of the peace process, JICA assures strong support and committed assistance towards achieving peace and development in the Mindanao region,” said JICA Chief Representative Noriaki Niwa.

Through BDP 2, JICA looks forward to continue working closely with the Philippine government, stakeholders and other development partners in realizing balanced and equitable development for all the people of Mindanao.

Taking off from the BDP 1 Study prepared for the transitional period, BDP 2 identified anchor projects including support for agricultural cooperatives; road rehabilitation and upgrading; ports and airport improvement; Greater Cotabato City urban infrastructure; communal irrigation; economic corridor development; economic zones; abaca, coco coir and sugar industrial cluster development; agri-based projects (goat farming, mixed field crops); seed production center; halal industry promotion; open market; cold chain facilities; community-based forest and coastal management; mini hydro-power development as well as Mindanao river basin integrated watershed and flood management projects.

Such projects derive from the 16 programs in BDP 2 within the development agenda of broad-based inclusive growth, pump-priming, alternative socio-economy and enhanced resources management initiatives to ensure inclusive development in Bangsamoro.

JICA noted consultations with Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Government, Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA) and existing government set-up of ARMM will help ensure effective and sustainable implementation of development projects.

BDP 2 aims to create 550,000 additional jobs in Mindanao by 2022 and a 7.4 percent annual GDP.

Japan is a strategic development partner of the Philippines.

Through JICA, Japan has been supporting the peace and development process in the region since 2002 with assistance to the ARMM Social Fund for Peace and Development.

Since then, Japan’s official development assistance to Mindanao totaled some 15.1 billion yen.


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