Honorable Senior Minister Abdulraof Abdul Macacua
Senior Minister, BARMM, and Minister, Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy, BARMM
Honorable Minister Romeo K. Sema（オナラブル ミニスター ロメオ･ケイ･セマ）
Chair, Project Advisory and Review Committee of the ILO-Japan Water Pro-ject, and Minister, Ministry of Labor and Employment, BARMM
Honorable Minister Melanio Umbit Ulama
Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, BARMM
Honorable Mayor Reynalbert Insular
South Upi, Maguindanao
Honorable Executive Director Windel P. Diangcalan（オラナブル カントリーダイレクター カリード･ハサン）
Bangsamoro Development Agency, Inc.
Honorable Country Director Khalid Hassan（オラナブル カントリーダイレクター カリード･ハサン）
International Labour Organization
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
（マガンダング ウマガ ポー）Magandang umaga po (Good morn-ing)
I consider it an honor to represent the Government of Japan in this turnover ceremony, most especially because Mindanao peace and development has been a top priority in the Japan-Philippines cooperation agen-da.
This is the third water system we have turned over in this part of Mindanao under the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project. Last November, we completed the Project’s very first water system in Barangay Timan-an, also in South Upi. This time, we are back to the Municipality of South Upi to reach out to the locals of Barangay Looy.
Our gratitude goes to our development partners, particularly the In-ternational Labour Organization (ILO), who stand steadfast to implement our joint projects in Mindanao, in spite of the pandemic. This endeavor is as imperative as ever during these difficult times, as we continue to improve the living conditions of the Bangsamoro people. We credit the success of this project to the technical expertise of the ILO in paving the way for its completion.
Grounded on mutual friendship for more than three decades, Japan has been supporting water supply systems and sanitation projects throughout the Philippines. In this period of uncertainty, access to safe and potable drinking water for everyone is a vital necessity to achieve healthier communities and alleviate the impact of COVID-19.
We share the joy of the people of Barangay Looy, as this completed water system is seen to serve as channel of peace and development in their locality. We are glad to note that decent work opportunities were made available during its construction phase, involving many women of Looy. At the same time, reforestation along the water reservoir was implemented alongside to ensure the sustainability of water and environment in the sur-rounding areas.
The hard work rendered by the Looy residents for this project has now come to fruition. From a barangay that struggled to access water for its daily needs comes a community that is poised to benefit from a clean, green and healthy environment. Right now, around 500 households and two schools in Looy have better access to potable water. We hope that this project would usher in more opportunities for growth in this barangay.
Japan, together with the ILO, has lined up a total of eleven water systems for the Bangsamoro Region, and these form part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development or J-BIRD. Through J-BIRD, we aim to provide an enabling environment for the Bang-samoro communities and help them benefit from the dividends of peace. From 2006 to date, we have extended about 13 billion pesos or 260 mil-lion US dollars’ worth of assistance to this region.
We envision Mindanao, particularly the Bangsamoro Region, as a bedrock of peace, development and stability. I have faith that this project brings us much closer to this goal.
マラミング サラマット ポー）Maraming salamat po (Thank you)