Friday, 04 March 2011 12:04
Japan’s international aid agency this week donated a database that profiles the socio-economic conditions of specific areas in Mindanao to the Philippines’ so-called "Peaceful and Resilient Communities" program known as Pamana.
Norio Matsuda, the representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), through which the government of Japan, funnels its assistance as leader of the International Monitoring Team’s socio-economic sub-group, turned over the data to Teresita Quintos-Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
OPAPP director Carmel Pami-Ulanday said the database was a result of JICA’s study from February 2007 to November 2009.
The research involved 3,847 barangays in 151 cities and municipalities in 14 provinces of Regions 9, 10, 11, 12 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The JICA project, titled “Study for Socio-Economic Reconstruction and Development of Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao” (SERD-CAAM) aims to formulate a socio-economic plan for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and development of specific areas in Mindanao.
Ulanday said OPAPP is grateful “because this will help us fast track the identification of barangay beneficiaries for the PAMANA program.”
She said the SERD-CAAM Geographical Information System (GIS) and Database Integration Program is a software that contains data on barangay profiles and in-depth barangay needs analysis.
"Using this will help us identify different places based on indicators, such as physical and natural environment, socio-economic condition, infrastructure, among others,” Ulanday said.
She added the OPAPP GIS team is currently merging the SERD-CAAM database into OPAPP’s consolidated records.
In a related development, the government of Japan recently contributed humanitarian aid of US$ 700,000 (about P30 million) for thousands of internationally displaced persons, rebel returnees and households starved by the civil strife in Central Mindanao.
The amount, to be disbursed by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), is Japan’s contribution to the International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR) for central Mindanao, which it also manages.
A Japanese note verbale to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the contribution responds to a request from the Philippines.
The assistance complements the peace and development track of the OPAPP which seeks not just to achieve a negotiated political settlement but to also address the roots of armed conflict including the flagship Pamana.
Aside from ARMM, Pamana areas include Samar, Surigao del Sur-Compostela Valley Corridor, and Region IX, Negros Island, Bicol and the Cordilleras.
By Gloria Jane Baylon-PNA/PIA9-BST
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