Ambassador Lopez signs the Loan Agreements for the Forestland Management Project and Six Other JICA-funded ODA Projects

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and JICA Vice President Izumi Arai shake hands after signing ceremonies for seven ODA projects.

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and JICA Vice President Izumi Arai shake hands after signing ceremonies for seven ODA projects.

30 March 2012-In ceremonies held today, Ambassador of the Philippines to Japan Manuel M. Lopez and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vice-President Izumi Arai signed seven (7) JICA Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan agreements totaling Yen 68.263 billion (approximately PHP 35.49 billion or US$ 832.48 million), marking a 34% increase from the previous fiscal year.

These projects are the 1) Forestland Management Project; 2) Central Luzon Link Expressway Project; 3) Arterial Road Bypass Project (Phase II); 4) Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project (Phase III); 5) Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan River, Tagoloan River and Imus River; 6) National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project; and 7) Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development.

These projects aim to further enhance economic growth in the Philippines by supporting the development of industrial space and improve logistics transportation;   protecting Metro Manila from flooding of the Pasig-Marikina River and mitigating flood risks in the Cagayan, Tagoloan and Imus river basins; supporting community based forest management in Luzon and Panay; and improving agricultural productivity and food security of farmers.

JICA Vice-President Arai remarked in his opening speech that “Philippines’ stable economic growth and improvement of its fiscal condition in recent years have been remarkable”. He added that it is JICA’s desire “to continuously work together on the difficult task that arise in the process of inclusive growth and mitigate people’s vulnerability”.

In response, Ambassador Lopez stressed that these projects will have significant impact in the daily lives of Filipinos since JICA projects have improved the lives of Filipinos such as the infrastructures built and disaster equipment funded by JICA in the past.  He said that “Japan and JICA have been with Filipinos both in good and bad times”. He also expressed appreciation for Japan’s continued support for the Philippines as a top ODA partner despite the fiscal challenges posed by the Japan’s recovery and reconstruction efforts after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

JICA President Sadako Ogata, who is stepping down as JICA President on 01 April 2012, was also present to congratulate the Philippine and JICA officials.

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and JICA President Sadako Ogata shake hands on the occasion of the signing ceremonies.

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and JICA President Sadako Ogata shake hands on the occasion of the signing ceremonies.

Ambassador Lopez and JICA Vice President Arai are joined by Philippine Embassy officials Minister Gina Jamoralin (2nd from right) and Second Secretary Hans Mohaimin Siriban (leftmost) and JICA Director General Koki Hirota (rightmost) and JICA Director Megumi Muto (2nd from left).

Ambassador Lopez and JICA Vice President Arai are joined by Philippine Embassy officials Minister Gina Jamoralin (2nd from right) and Second Secretary Hans Mohaimin Siriban (leftmost) and JICA Director General Koki Hirota (rightmost) and JICA Director Megumi Muto (2nd from left).