The Bayanga Norte Elementary School community can now benefit from the relocation and construction of two new classroom buildings funded by the Japanese government’s aid program for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). These classrooms will allow more students to study in a safe environment and spend less time commuting.
The handover ceremony was attended by Consul General Ishikawa Yoshihisa of the Japanese Consulate General in Davao and First Secretary Okada Fumiaki of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, as well as Matanog Municipal Mayor Zohriah Bansil-Guro, other LGU officials, Ministry of Education officials, teachers, selected students and parents.
Originally established in 1983, Bayanga Norte Elementary School is a public primary school in Matanog, Maguindanao, and their dilapidated classrooms were considered unsafe for students. The school had no additional space to expand to accommodate the growing number of students, and many students had to walk two to four hours to get to school.
To address these issues, the Japanese Embassy provided a grant of 8.9 million pesos to the municipal government of Matanog through GGP. The grant covered the construction of a one-story, three-classroom building and a one-story, four-classroom building at a new location closer to the center of the community.
“We sincerely hope that you will take full advantage of the opportunity to develop your potential in the new learning environment,” the Consul General told students and teachers. He also wanted the community to take care of the facilities for the benefit of future generations.
As the largest official development assistance (ODA) donor to the Philippines, the Japanese government launched the GGP program in the Philippines in 1989 to alleviate poverty and help communities engage in basic activities. Especially in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao, Japan has been intensively implementing GGP and other ODA projects since 2006 to support peace and development in Mindanao under the Japan- Bangsamoro for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), the total amount exceeding $200 million.
“The Classroom Construction Project for Bayanga Norte Elementary School in Matanog Municipality” is the latest example of Japan’s commitment to friendship and strategic partnerships between Japan and the Philippines.