Monday, July 26, 2010

Filipinos praise Japan for health support in Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 26, 2010) - Filipino villagers praised Japan for its support to rural health programs in North Cotabato province in Mindanao.

Japan funded the upgrading of a rural health unit in Libungan town and would hand it over to the local government on Tuesday. Tomonori Kikuchi, Embassy of Japan’s First Secretary, is expected to attend the turnover ceremony.

The project is funded through the Embassy of Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects) with a grant of 72,469 US dollars or approximately 3.4 million pesos.

The Libungan Regional Health Unit was constructed in 1976 and, prior to the assistance, it was one of the oldest health facilities in the Province of North Cotabato. The RHU was dilapidated and did not have enough space and basic medical equipment for providing quality health services for the residents. Since patients also come from adjacent municipalities of Alamada, Banisilan and Pigcawayan, they were forced to wait for a long time to be provided health services.

Now, with the grant assistance, a newly renovated health facility has been constructed, and medical equipment was also provided. "This is a great initiative of Japan and we are lucky that we have now an upgraded rural health unit," one villager said.

This project has been implemented under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development. The Government of Japan launched the J-BIRD in December 2006 as part of its commitment to support peace and development efforts in Mindanao.

The J-BIRD has assisted the construction and rehabilitation of school buildings, training centers, health centers and water supply systems through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects. As of March 2010, 40 grassroots projects have been implemented under the J-BIRD with a total amount of approximately 2.8 Million US Dollars. (With a report from Geo Solmerano)

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