This month, Japan, ADB turn over equipment, vehicles for Marawi reconstruction

Japan is set to turn over 27 units of heavy machinery and other equipment to the Philippine government this month, March, to aid in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts for Marawi City, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

The DOF’s International Finance Group (IFG) also reported to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a recent DOF Executive Committee (Execom) meeting that 200 electric vehicles from an Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded project of the Department of Energy (DOE) will also be turned over to Task Force Bangon Marawi to help provide livelihood opportunities for residents in the conflict-torn city.

According to the IFG, Japan’s donation of heavy equipment to Marawi is part of Tokyo’s 2.5 billion yen ($22 million) grant under the Philippine-Japan Economic and Social Development Programme, which includes the support for the reconstruction of the city and the provision of coastal monitoring radars to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Last Feb. 12, during the fourth meeting of the Philippines-Japan High Level Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation held in Lapu-Lapu City, representatives of both countries discussed a proposed 2 billion yen ($18 million) grant from Japan, also for Marawi City.

During the meeting, Dr. Hiroto Izumi, who chaired the Japan delegation, said the turnover of heavy equipment “would be a symbol of Japan’s strong commitment for the reconstruction of Marawi and demonstrate the robust bond between our two countries.”

Dr. Izumi, who is a Special Advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also confirmed the launching of a project on the construction of shelters and community infrastructure for its residents and the budgetary support for the rehabilitation efforts for Marawi City.

The Philippine delegation, led by Dominguez and Secretary Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), thanked the Japanese government, both “for its enduring support for Mindanao and for its strong commitment to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City.”

During that meeting at the Shangri-La Mactan hotel, the two sides also agreed  to “steadily implement” for the next five years their joint commitments on  major fields of bilateral cooperation, particularly on the implementation of the Duterte administration’s big-ticket infrastructure projects that Japan has pledged to support through funding and technology assistance.

Dominguez has described the Shangri-La hotel meeting as a “fruitful” one, as he underscored how Japan shares the Philippine government’s “great sense of urgency “to see shovels at the ground and complete the major projects at the soonest feasible time.”

Both sides presented measures to speed up the implementation of the Philippines’ infrastructure projects that Tokyo has committed to support, and also confirmed “the updated candidate list of projects, including new projects proposed for Japanese loan/grant financing.”

The Philippine and Japan governments also agreed to “continue to have consultations at the working level to accelerate implementation and address challenges” for the railway projects that were presented for Japanese financing.