- Honourable Minister Romeo K. Sema, Chair, Project Advisory and Review Committee (PARC) of the the ILO-Japan Project and Ministry of Labor and Employment
- Honourable Mayor Reynalbert O. Insular, South Upi, Maguindanao
- Honourable Country Director Khalid Hassan, International Labour Organization
- Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I am honored to be included with partners in our common quest for peace and development in Mindanao. Our presence, albeit virtual, undoubtedly indicates strong commitment to this worthwhile undertaking.
While the pandemic has drastically changed our lifestyles and the world we live in, we are thankful to our development partners who remain dedicated in implementing our projects in Mindanao.
For more than three decades, Japan has been supporting the water supply as well as the sanitation sector in both urban and rural areas in the Philippines. Water is a vital necessity, most particularly to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 during these difficult times. We believe everyone should have access to safe and potable drinking water.
We are very pleased that the water systems we hand over today serve as supplemental interventions of peace to further make progress felt by the Bangsamoro communities. It warms our heart that through this project with the ILO, we provided decent work and improved living conditions to more than 1,700 workers who help built the water systems. We are glad that to prevent the spread of COVID-19, proper health protocols were observed during the construction, such as the installation of handwashing facilities for the workers. We are pleased that more households in the Bangsamoro region will now gain better access to potable water, averting vulnerabilities to water-borne diseases caused by unsafe sources. We have faith they will make optimum use of this water infrastructure.
This undertaking form part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development, or J-BIRD to empower people and communities benefit from the dividends of peace. From 2006 to date, we have so far provided a total of about 13 billion pesos or 260 million US dollars’ worth of assistance to the Bangsamoro region.
This project is a symbol of the special bond shared between Japan and the people of Mindanao. Together, we will all work to making Mindanao, fully developed.
Sukran salka! (Thank you.)