Embassy of Japan message at the handover of the water system in Rifao

By by Chargé d'Affaires Nakata Masahiro of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines at the launch and handover of the water system built by indigenous peoples under the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project, 22 June 2021, Rifao, Upi, Maguindanao.

Meeting document | 22 June 2021

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 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

Honorable Mayor Ramon Piang
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.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

(マガンダング ウマガ ポー)Magandang umaga po (Good morn-ing)

It has been a delight on my part to join our partners and friends in Mindanao in launching our joint projects for the region. Although today’s ceremony is held virtually, I hope everyone in Barangay Rifao feels how Japan gives much importance to them and the entire Mindanao.

For quite a long time now, Japan has been advocating the concept of human security to ensure that progress is felt by everyone on the ground. It is in line with this principle that we strive to provide the most basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, and livelihood opportunities to people in need. For we know that only by gaining steady access to these basic needs can people attain human security and eventually participate in nation-building.

In the case of the Bangsamoro region, we endeavor to make sure that underserved communities will be paid particular attention to and that last mile beneficiaries will be served. By responding to their most pressing needs and making effective partnerships, we believe our projects in BARMM have been very successful in this respect.

This is particularly true for this ongoing ILO Japan Water and Sanitation Project we are witnessing right now. Today’s water system is only the fourth lined up under this project. Seven more water systems are expected to be unveiled soon. Indeed, we have the people behind our partner, the International Labour Organization (ILO), to thank for all of these.

We could not emphasize more the value of having a stable source of clean and safe water. It is all the more needed now that proper handwashing and sanitation are identified as effective protection during this pandemic. Aside from helping improve the living conditions of the people of Rifao, the local community also gained employment opportunities by helping build this water system. We are glad that this project contributed, in one way or another, to the Sustainable Development Goals on safe water and decent work for all.

There is nothing more that we desire in Mindanao, particularly the Bangsamoro Region, but to witness the dividends of peace being enjoyed by its local people. Though there may be some setbacks along the way, compounded by the challenges brought about by the pandemic, it is very encouraging to know that our joint projects, however small, have created long-lasting impact that are beyond measure.

This is what keeps us going and what keeps us doing what we do best with our development partners. We will stay committed to pushing for big-impact projects under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development or J-BIRD, like the one we have here today. As has been before and as it is now, Japan will remain a steady stream of support for the entire Mindanao and its people.

(マラミング サラマット ポー)Maraming salamat po (Thank you)