By Roy Mabasa
The Japanese government has turned over $77,991 (approximately P3.2 million)-worth of additional classrooms to help decongest the densely-populated Del Pilar Elementary School in New Corella, Davao Del Norte.
Approved in 2016, the school project was part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
On Tuesday, Japanese Embassy Second Secretary Atsushi Kobayashi led the turnover ceremony, together with Department of Education Region 11 Director Alberto Escobarte and Schools Division Superintendent Josephine Fadul.
The Japanese Embassy noted that every year, enrollment in Del Pilar Elementary School had been continuously increasing that later led to severe congestion.
This prompted school officials to utilize existing dilapidated classrooms to conduct classes for the students.
Through the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) and the GGP, the Japanese Embassy provided the grant assistance to the New Corella local government unit to address the shortage of classrooms in Del Pilar Elementary School.
The grant covered the construction of four classrooms with the necessary school amenities that will directly benefit more than 650 students in the municipality.
As the country’s top ODA donor, the government of Japan launched the GGP in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engage in grassroots activities.
At present, 543 grassroots projects have been implemented under the said project.
“Japan believes that these projects will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute in sustaining the strategic partnership between the two countries,” the Embassy said in a statement.