Japan has finished the construction of a water system and a learning center in two villages in South Cotabato, the Japanese Embassy in Manila said Thursday.
The level II water supply system was formally given to Barangay Kablon in Tupi town, while a one-story building for technical vocational education and training was turned over to the municipality of Tampakan, both on July 20.
The PHP4 million water system project is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (GGP) and will benefit three sitios (sub-village) in Kablon.
Japan Consul-General in Davao Yoshihisa Ishikawa, during his speech, expressed hope “that the residents of the sitios are now free from worries of contracting water-borne diseases as well as the physical burden and time consumed in fetching water from far away.”
According to the Embassy, Tupi had one of the lowest rates of access to safe potable water in South Cotabato. In several sitios of Barangay Kablon, it takes as much as two hours to fetch water on foot and the water not even safe to drink.
As a result, approximately 10 percent of the residents suffer from conditions such as diarrhea and skin diseases every year, the Embassy said.
The provision of the training center building, meanwhile, was funded with a grant amounting to PHP4.3 million.
Ishikawa, in his message, hoped that the upgraded facility will help Tampakan residents further hone their technical skills necessary for employment and their livelihood.
Japan launched the GGP scheme in the Philippines in 1989 and has so far funded 553 grassroots projects across the country.
“Japan believes that these projects will strengthen the friendship between Japan and the Philippines and contribute to sustaining strategic partnerships between the two countries,” the Embassy said. (PNA)