The Daily Manila Shimbun


Turnover ceremony for Japan-funded training center in Naujan held

August 22, 2017

A turnover ceremony for  a project for the construction of training center for the Mangyans in Mindoro was held on August 15 in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, the Embassy of Japan said in a statement Tuesday.

The ceremony was attended by Benjamin Abadiano, president, Ilawan, Inc.; Nelson de Guzman – representative of  Naujan;  Mona Liza Benter, representative from National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) provincial office;  Atsushi Kobayashi, third secretary of the Embassy of Japan; and community people of Naujan.

The population of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, is approximately 5,000, 98 percent of which are indigenous people commonly known as Mangyan.

They live in mountainous areas, which hinder them from having access to appropriate education. Livelihood opportunities are also limited in this area.  Mangyans in Naujan are said to be in the extremely poverty situation with an average monthly income of P 1,000 to P 2,000.

The project was implemented by Ilawan, Inc.,  a non-government organization. It was funded by the Embassy of Japan through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in 2015.

A total of $87,081 was provided for construction of a training center, which will be used to provide training on livelihood, leadership, cultural education, and agricultural productivity for the Mangyans.

The facility is expected to help this indigenous people to overcome poverty and will give them the opportunity to be involved in different development activities for livelihood improvement, as well as environmental protection and preservation. It also aims to promote women’s empowerment since more than 60% of the target beneficiaries of the project are women.

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.

At present, 525 grassroots projects have been implemented by the project. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines, but also contribute in sustaining strategic partnership between the two countries. DMS