MANILA – The Japanese government is funding four projects worth PHP19.9 million to acquire ambulances and medical equipment in three local government units as well as delivery trucks to help local farmers in three other provinces.
The grants would help procure two ambulances for Parañaque City, rebuild the 66-year-old Grace Park Health Center in Caloocan City, acquire medical equipment for the rural health unit of Palo, Leyte, and provide three refrigerated trucks for small farmers in Laguna, Rizal, and Antique.
The funding is part of Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) in the Philippines, first launched in 1989 to help countries reduce poverty.
"Japan has long been a top development partner for the Philippines and through the GGP we are proud to say that not only have we worked hand-in-hand with the Philippine national government but also with the local government units in addressing the basic concerns of the people," Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa said during the signing of four grant contracts at his residence in Makati City on Thursday.
"These projects will be implemented in direct consultation with the local governments and non-government organizations. We can carry out these projects that meet the need of each region," he added.
The four new grants bring to 553 the total grassroots projects Japan has funded in the Philippines.
One of the recipients, Ahon sa Hirap Inc. (ASHI) said the grant would benefit more than 3,000 farmers and allow them to supply fresher agricultural products directly to ASHI partner institutions, including supermarkets and fast-food chains.
"ASHI is very grateful to the Embassy of Japan for the approval of this project. This grant will help our farmers collectively deliver on time the quality goods to the local and institutional markets thereby increasing their income," ASHI Chairman of the Board Henry Joseph Herrera said.
Also joining Koshikawa and Herrera during the signing ceremony were Caloocan City Vice Mayor Maca Asistio, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, and Palo Mayor Frances Ann Petilla who signed the contract virtually. Koshikawa said this was the first GGP contract signing since the pandemic began. (PNA)