P2M school building turned-over to Upi, Maguindanao
Cotabato City (August 25, 2015) – A school building worth P2 million was turned-over on Monday, August 24, at the Kibleg Elementary School in Upi, Maguindanao as part of the continuing support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) “to peace and development in Mindanao.”
Akihiko Tanaka, JICA president, said the building is one of the 20 Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) initiated by JICA, aimed at supporting “the ongoing peacebuilding process in Mindanao and help people realize the dividends of peace in their lives.”
The building houses rooms for Kindergarten and Grade One pupils of the school.
“These two-classroom buildings will be beneficial to us, especially to the natives of this place,” said school principal Nestor de Vera. Kibleg Elementary School was established in the 1950s, catering mostly to Teduray indigenous people. Teachers previously used temporary school buildings to cope with the increasing number of enrolees, especially in Nursery and Kindergarten.
Marilou de Vera, 56, a teacher for 32 years, said the building will address the lack of classrooms in the school. “Na-meet na ang kakulangan namin ng classroom (This meets the schools need for new classrooms).
The project aims at addressing the town’s classroom deficiency for the increasing number of pre-school enrolees in the area, and the use of temporary classrooms by the teachers. “The schoolchildren will learn more and better because of the new classrooms, which are conducive to learning,” Upi Mayor Ramon Piang said.
The QIPs, which include multi-purpose halls, warehouses with solar dryer, and school buildings, will benefit people in conflict-affected areas like Maguindanao, Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Basilan, Sulu, Sarangani, Tawi-Tawi, Sultan Kudarat, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Zamboanga Sibugay.
JICA is an agency of the Japanese government responsible for implementing technical cooperation, grant aid, and yen loan programs of Japan’s overseas development assistance to developing countries like the Philippines.
JICA president Akihiko Tanaka, JICA chief representative in the Philippines Noriaki Niwa, together with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, MILF municipal political committee chairman Sumail Mensong, Bangsamoro Development Authority executive director Mohammad Yacob, Mayor Piang, and school principal de Vera led the turn-over ceremony. (Bureau of Public Information)