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Japan assistance to continue to help ARCs in Dinagat Islands

THE Philippines will continue to receive development assistance from the Japanese government to cover more agrarian-reform communities in Southern Mindanao.

A representative from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has committed to expand the agency’s assistance to cover more agrarian- reform communities in Southern Mindanao.

Jica resident field office chief Akira Goto said the Japanese government will continue its partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform even with the final stage of the implementation of the Mindanao Sustainable Settlement Area Development Project (MinSSAD) in agrarian-reform communities in the Dinagat Islands.

MinSSAD, funded by JICA, is an official development assistance program covering 16 municipalities in Mindanao.

Goto made the statement during the mass turnover of the P200-M completed MinSSAD infrastructure projects to the local government of San Jose, Dinagat, and Tubajon, all aimed at increasing the productivity and income of agrarian-reform beneficiaries in rural communities.

The projects include school buildings, potable- water systems, farm-to-market roads, barangay health stations, bridges, irrigations, multipurpose buildings and postharvest facilities.

MinSSAD national project director Percival Dalugdug said the projects, which are now in operation, are expected not only to boost the rural economy but also to create job opportunities in farming communities.

“We would like to encourage our farmers to acquire more skills so that they could perform other jobs, which could help them get by especially now that everyone is affected by the global crisis,” he said.

He also said the DAR will also provide farm equipment to farmer-beneficiaries in the Island aside from these infrastructure projects.

San Jose Mayor Benglen Ecleo said the municipality is lucky to be a recipient of these facilities. “My constituents in remote areas benefit from these projects. We are looking forward to better livelihood opportunities,” he added. (Business Mirror)

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