The government of Japan turned over emergency vehicles (two pumper trcks) to the Government of the Philippines at two ceremonies held on April 8, 2015 in the municipality of Hinoba-an and in the city of Sipalay in the Province of Negros Occidental for the Japan-funded Emergency Vehicles for Typhoon Yolanda Affected Areas under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The two ceremonies were attended by third secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Mariko Watanabe, SSUPT Eleuterio N Iturriaga, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)’s Region 6 Regional Director and CINSP Dennis A Molo from the BFP’s national headquarters. The municipality of Hinoba-an turn over ceremony was also attended by Municipal Mayor, Hon. Ernesto A. Estrao. The city of Sipalay turn over ceremony was attended by the City Vice-Mayor, Hon. Maria Gina Lizares. A deep appreciation was expressed from the recipients at these ceremonies.

“The Project for Providing Emergency Vehicles for the Typhoon-Affected Areas in the Philippines” was initially announced when a delegation led by Honorable Kenji Kosaka, President of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians’ Friendship League (JPPFL) met with the Senate President Honorable Franklin M. Drilon, President of Philippines-Japan Parliamentary Association (PJPA), in Manila on May 5, 2014. It is part of Japan’s additional donation to the Philippines of previously-used 20 emergency vehicles (17 units of fire trucks and 3 units of ambulances) intended primarily for the municipalities affected by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan in 2013. In addition, these two pumper trucks are expected to enhance a disaster risk reduction capability as the area is tsunami-prone.

As a disaster-prone country, Japan has supported the Philippines’ disaster mitigation efforts by sharing Japan’s lessons learned from the past natural disasters. This project, with its policy of “Build Back Better,” is expected to further foster the strategic partnership between the two countries and serve as a model for other disaster-prone areas of the Philippines.

The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of present, 510 grassroots projects have been funded by GGP. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute to further fostering a strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines toward the future.