MANILA — The Japanese government turned over last week two completed classroom construction projects to Maguindanao and North Cotabato under their Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).

The construction of the learning facilities in Kabuntalan, Maguindanao and Alamada, North Cotabato were approved in 2013 and 2014, respectively, as part of Tokyo’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines through GGP.

According to the Japanese Embassy in Manila, the grant, which covered the construction of a one-story six classroom school building in Kabuntalan amounted to USD119,975.

Meanwhile, the grant provided to the municipality of Alamada, worth USD99,803, covered the construction of a two-story, four classroom school building.

Before its construction, the embassy said students of the Manglicmot High School in Alamada had to use makeshift classrooms when the rain pours due to leaks.

“The lack of classrooms and increase to enrollment added burden to them as they also have to study in congested classrooms,” it said in a document sent to the Philippine News Agency on Monday.

The same burden goes for the students of the Gambar Elementary School in Kabuntalan.

“For the past years, Gambar Elementary School had only two existing severely dilapidated classrooms being used by all of its students. This situation, in addition to the continued increase in the student enrollment, left the school with no choice but to employ a multi-grade teaching strategy,” it said.

“Evidently, students were having classes in congested and unsafe classrooms,” the embassy added.

The turnover ceremonies for the two completed projects were held last week.

The government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the GGP in 1989 to help reduce poverty and help various communities engage in grassroots activities.

“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. (PNA)

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