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A P14 million contribution from Japan will be used to build a school in Negros.

Japan is providing PHP14 million in funding for the construction of a school facility in Ilog, Negros Occidental, which is expected to support government efforts to solve the country’s lack of classroom space.

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The grant agreement was signed on Thursday by Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez and Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa as part of Tokyo’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), which has already helped finance more than 500 community and poverty-reduction initiatives in the Philippines since 1989.

At least 215 pupils would benefit from the construction of a new, six-classroom structure with comfort rooms at Ilog Elementary School thanks to the funds.

During emergencies, the classroom might also be used as an evacuation center for up to 200 people.

The Japanese Embassy in Manila stated in a news release that in order to accommodate a large number of pupils, Ilog Elementary School presently uses temporary venues as classrooms, including its outdoor stage.

The majority of the school’s classrooms are also in poor shape and pose a safety risk.

Japan continues to support inclusive and sustainable growth in the Philippines. With our collaborative efforts to improve the lives of Filipinos through our ODA projects, particularly the GGP, we have developed close relationships, Koshikawa said in a speech.

Notwithstanding its modest size, the GGP, he continued, “we believe, significantly contributes to directly strengthening local communities by attending to the particular and expanding needs of the people.

The grant, according to Education Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, is a “welcome development” as the Department of Education searches for other funding sources to address the lack of classroom and school buildings in the nation.

In an interview, he said, “We’re really thrilled because, once built, this two-story, six-classroom structure will provide learning facilities for at least 240 kids in the municipality of Ilog.

He said, “[W]ith the shortage of classrooms all around the country, we’re looking at sources outside of the national budget,” and that working with foreign partners is another “successful technique” to help pupils bridge the gaps.

By the end of 2022, according to Densing, there will be a deficit of about 165,000 classrooms, which would affect “four to five million” Filipino pupils.

One of the four new GGP projects that the Japanese Embassy in Manila signed on Thursday is the contract for the construction of a school.

Contracts for the purchase of a vehicle to transport homeless children from shelters to schools and counseling in Lipa, Batangas, the installation of a water purification system at Mabato Elementary School in Rosario, Batangas, and the development of a training facility for food processing in Bombon, Camarines Sur were also signed.

The total funding for the four grants is PHP25.2 million.

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