Embassy of Japan: Message at the handover of the water systems built in Balabagan, Lanao del Sur under the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project

By Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines at the handover of the water systems built in Balabagan, Lanao del Sur under the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project, 9 March 2022, Lanao del Sur, Philippines

Meeting document | Balabagan, Lanao del Sur, Philippines | 09 March 2022
Honourable 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 Project, and Minister, Ministry of Labor and Employment, BARMM

Honourable 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

Honourable Mayor Edna Ogka-Benito(オラナブル メイヤー エドナ・オグカ・ベニト)
Balabagan, Lanao del Sur

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

(マガンダング ウマガ ポー)Magandang umaga po (Good morning).

Our turnover ceremony today speaks volumes of the strong partnerships and dedication of Japan for the advancement of the Bangsamoro Region.

The Government of Japan has long supported projects in the BARMM that are focused on addressing the basic needs of underserved communities. We do this while strengthening meaningful partnerships with the stakeholders in the region. In fact, such project partnerships under our umbrella program, the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), have already yielded concrete results in more ways than one.

For all the times Japan successfully delivered our committed projects, we recognize that there’s only so much we can do on our own. We therefore seek close partnerships with people and organizations that have first-hand knowledge and experience on the ground. We are grateful that we have our long-standing partner, the International Labour Organization (ILO), to provide these water facilities where they are most needed.

The series of sub-projects we are handing over today and in the coming days form part of the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project signed in March 2019. With the expertise of the ILO, we have endeavoured the construction of water stations through 11 sub-projects in Mindanao. I am glad that the five completed water sub-projects we previously turned over are now being enjoyed by over 3,400 households and five schools.

This time, the three water sub-projects we are turning over will serve 2,047 households in five barangays of Balabagan, Lanao del Sur. A total of 269 locals were also employed for the construction of these water systems. We ensured that these locals were given decent source of income and social protection benefits, while they served their communities together.

Indeed, each individual may be small in ability, but collectively, our efforts could make a big difference in the lives of many. This is exactly what our partnership with the ILO, BARMM stakeholders, and these local people is all about.

My sincere gratitude to the ILO and all our partners in this project for your utmost cooperation. Now that we have accomplished this project, we count on the local water users association for the fruitful management of these water systems in the long run. Know that Japan stands by you towards the development of your communities and the entire Mindanao.

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much!)