MANILA - Japan will donate 100 million yen (P43 million) for "quick-impact" projects in the southern Philippines, following the Philippine government's signing of a peace agreement last month with Muslim Moro rebels fighting for a homeland centered on southern Mindanao Island, the Japan International Cooperation Agency said Tuesday.
"JICA, through the quick impact projects, will assist Mindanao's conflict-affected areas in constructing community multipurpose halls, warehouses, solar driers, and other public facilities as well as in renovating and expanding school buildings," JICA said in a statement.
It said the grant-funded projects are intended "to drive inclusive growth in Mindanao and enable the communities to feel the dividends of peace following the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro recently."
Under the March 27 agreement, an autonomous Bangsamoro political entity will be constituted in Mindanao not later than 2016 in line with the Muslim Moro's desire for self-determination, ending the decades-long violence that has stunted the island's development.
JICA has been supporting Mindanao's peace and development goals through aid efforts since 2006 under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development program.
A day after the March 27 agreement in the capital Manila, JICA President Akihiko Tanaka met with Muslim rebel leaders and discussed the necessity of implementing quick impact projects in the proposed Bangsamoro region.