Japan provides 500-M yen grants to water, farm projects in Mindanao

Kyodo News

Posted at Mar 07 2019 10:08 PM

Japan provided 500 million yen (around $4.4 million) in grants on Wednesday to water and agriculture projects in conflict-affected areas on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

The projects, to be implemented by the International Labor Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, are "follow-through instruments of peace" as the Philippines' predominantly Muslim region transitions into an autonomous region with more self-governing powers, said Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda.

A 300-million yen ILO project aims to provide safe and reliable water supply, while a 200-million yen FAO project intends to provide vocational skills training on agriculture and fisheries, as well as literacy and entrepreneurship training.

Following a 2014 peace agreement between the government and the country's largest Muslim rebel group to end decades of insurgency in the restive region, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority was launched last month.

The transition authority will eventually give way to a more powerful Bangsamoro government in 2022 with its own parliament, and more executive and economic powers.

There are an estimated more than 3 million people in the Bangsamoro region, which covers nearly 1.5 million hectares in land area, mainly in central to western Mindanao.