Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Japan enhances development interventions in Philippine Muslim region

Naguib Sinarimbo, ARMM executive secretary (second from left), and Michimasa Numata, JICA chief advisor on human capacity-building (3rd from left), signed the minutes of their 5th joint committee meeting in Davao City Thursday, as ARMM director for administrative services Lydia Udaundo-Mastura (left) and another JICA official look on. (Photo by Ali Macabalang)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Top officials of the Japan International Cooperation Agency have assured to enhance development initiatives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, pursuing a barrage of foreign aids and interventions to help bring peace and growth in Southern Philippines.

Michimasa Numata and lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, joined respectively by JICA experts and ARMM officials, held here Thursday their 5th joint coordinating committee meeting aimed at jump-starting a three-year human capacity development project for the bureaucracy of the autonomous region.

The JICA human capacity building project has two main parts: The conduct of trainings by Japan-trained ARMM trainers for personnel involved in carrying out infrastructure development projects; and the drafting of implementing rules and regulations of the regional administrative code for the autonomous region.

ARMM director for public works department’s operation Guialoson Mamogkat and administrative management director Lydia Udaundo-Mastura were named point-persons for JICA-sponsored technical trainings, and administrative code drafting workshops, respectively.

On Friday, another group of ARMM bureaucrats also led by Sinarimbo held a separate meeting in Makati City with a JICA team involved in restructuring guidelines for environmental and social interventions that would be opened in the Philippines including the autonomous region this year.

Director Satoshi Sugimoto and Assistant Director Masahiko Egami of the JICA program on environmental and social concerns conducted a half-day lecture on the guidelines for relevant project proposals, for which they asked various participants including ARMM officials to be transparent and accountable.

Sugimoto said they have four categories for projects that may proposed under the environmental and social interventions, including constructions of facilities for energy-generation, roads, railways, airports/seaports, waste management, and the like.

Sinarimbo, incumbent ARMM regional secretary, expressed gratitude to the Japanese government through the JICA for its keenness in infusing different development initiatives in the areas of the regional autonomy, which has been lagging other administrative zones in the country.

“We are very much thankful for the enhanced development interventions of JICA in support of other foreign countries’ assistance in ARMM," he said.

Sinarimbo and Numata officially signed the minutes of the 5th JCC meeting here Thursday, signalling the JICA to jump-start the final phases of activities involved in human capacity development initiatives in the ARMM bureaucracy.

Other JICA expert officials present in the meeting here were JICA deputy head to Philippines Masafuni Nagaishi, Project formulation adviser Takashi Komori, Kasuhiro Okamoto, business support expert Ryujiro Sasao, training management expert Ryoji Higurashi, and adviser for ARMM Shinichi Kimura. (Ali Macabalang)

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