Maguindanao, 31 August 2022 – The community of Bayanga Norte Elementary School can now benefit from the relocation and construction of two new classroom buildings that have been funded through the Japanese government’s Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (GGP), as they will allow more students to study in a safe environment and spend less time commuting. The turnover ceremony was attended by Consul General ISHIKAWA Yoshihisa of the Consulate-General of Japan in Davao and First Secretary OKADA Fumiaki of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, together with Matanog Municipal Mayor Zohriah Bansil-Guro, other LGU officials, Department of Education officials, teachers, selected students, and parents.
Originally established in 1983, Bayanga Norte Elementary School is a public elementary school in Barangay Bayanga Norte, Matanog, Maguindanao, and their dilapidated classrooms was regarded unsafe for students. The school did not have additional space for expansion to accommodate the increasing number of students, and many students were required to walk 2 to 4 hours to go to school.
To address these issues, the Embassy of Japan provided a grant amount of USD 169,645 or approximately PHP 8.9 million to the Municipal Government of Matanog through GGP. The grant covered the construction of a one-storey three-classroom and a one-storey four-classroom buildings at a new location nearer to the center of the community.
“We sincerely hope you will fully avail the opportunity to grow your potential in the new learning environment,” said Consul General to the students and teachers. He also wished that the community takes care of the facilities for the benefit of future generations.
As the top Official Development Assistance (ODA) donor for the Philippines, the Government of Japan launched the GGP scheme in the Philippines in 1989 to reduce poverty and help communities engage in grassroots activities. Especially in conflict affected areas of Mindanao, Japan has been intensively implementing GGP and other ODA projects since 2006 to support the peace and development in Mindanao as part of Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), with the total amount exceeding USD 200 million.
“The Project for the Construction of Classrooms for Bayanga Norte Elementary School in the Municipality of Matanog” is the latest example of Japan’s commitment in friendship and strategic partnerships between Japan and the Philippines.