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Turnover Ceremony for “The Project for the Construction of Crisis Center for Children in Conflict with the Law in Municipality of President Roxas, Province of Cotabato”

On July 26, 2022, Consul-General ISHIKAWA Yoshihisa, Vice Consul MITSUHASHI Rie of the Consulate-General of Japan in Davao, and Third Secretary YAMADA Yumi from the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines attended the turnover ceremony in President Roxas, Cotabato for “The Project for the Construction of Crisis Center for Children in Conflict with the Law in Municipality of President Roxas, Province of Cotabato.”

The project was approved in 2019 and is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), funded through the Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (GGP). It is also part of the Embassy’s effort to support the peace and development in Mindanao under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) 1.

Also in attendance were President Roxas Mayor Jonathan Mahimpit, Department of Social Welfare and Development XII Regional Director Restituto Macuto and other LGU officials.

In 2016, President Roxas recorded 18 Children in Conflict with the Law (CICLs). These children are supposed to receive comprehensive interventions through proper care, development, treatment, and social re-integration. However, because of lack of facility, children are put in police custody and returned to their families within twenty-four hours. This practice limits the capacity of the LGU to provide a more comprehensive intervention for the CICLs. The children are also at risk if they come from unsafe and unsecured communities.

To address this issue, the Embassy of Japan has provided a grant amount of USD 63,062 or approximately PHP 3.3 million2 to the Municipal Government of President Roxas. The grant covered the construction of a one-story- crisis center building and procurement of center furniture and fixtures. The center is expected to accommodate 7 to 22 male CICLs a year. In his speech, Consul-General ISHIKAWA underscored the importance of children in building a strong nation. He further expressed his hope that the crisis center will be a house of hope for CICLs enabling them to turn their life around and become responsible and productive members of society.

As the top ODA donor to the Philippines, the Government of Japan launched the GGP scheme in the Philippines in 1989 to reduce poverty and help various communities engage in grassroots activities. At present, 553 grassroots projects have been implemented by the GGP. Japan believes these projects will strengthen the friendship between Japan and the Philippines and contribute to sustaining strategic partnerships between the two countries.

Note 1: Since 2006, Japan has been intensively implementing the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects and other ODA projects for conflict affected areas in Mindanao, collectively called J-BIRD (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development). Their total amount is over 200 million US Dollars. Furthermore, when former President Aquino made a state visit to Japan in June 2015, Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe expressed at their summit meeting his support for the efforts by the Government of the Philippines to secure enduring peace in Mindanao and stated that the Government of Japan will promote J-BIRD II in view of the establishment of a new autonomous political entity.

Note 2: Grant Amount: USD 67,984; Dollar Rate 1 USD = PHP 53.2 (as of June 14, 2018)

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