By Roy C. Mabasa
A ranking National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) official and three development projects from the Philippines were among the 40 individuals, organizations and projects in the world that received the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President’s Award yesterday.
NEDA Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan, the only Filipino among the eight non-Japanese individual recipients, was chosen by JICA for his contribution in the strong bilateral relations of Japan and the Philippines, and for ensuring the success of JICA-Philippine projects through the years.
In the projects category, the Philippine awardees were the Cordillera-Wide strengthening of the local health system for effective and efficient delivery of maternal and child health services, Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery, and, the comprehensive and continuous cooperation with the Philippine Coast Guard concerning maritime security.
In a statement, JICA said the Philippines received the most number of commendations from the JICA President Award given by JICA headquarters in Tokyo.
The Japanese funding agency said the recipients of the first-ever JICA Chief Representative citations were Mediatrix Villanueva of Dios Mabalos Foundation, former DPWH Undersecretary Raul Asis, the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC), and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
JICA said Villanueva, Asis, JAEC, and PhilRice were specifically cited for their steadfast dedication to the successful implementation of development projects and long-standing relations with JICA in the Philippines.