TOKYO—Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has broached the possibility of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) extending its support to the Philippines’ localized climate adaptation and mitigation projects.
He met here recently with Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka and Mr. Akihiko Tanaka, the outgoing president and current president, respectively, of JICA, after the signing of the JPY 30-billion loan agreement for the second phase of the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CCRESL 2) facility.
Secretary Dominguez is the designated representative of President Duterte to the Philippines’ Climate Change Commission (CCC).
Mr. Tanaka expressed his openness to Secretary Dominguez’s proposal and said JICA would be willing to explore climate projects in the Philippines targeting specific localities and addressing specific climate change-related threats
He also reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to the Mindanao peace process, and assistance in the development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Mr. Kitaoka, for his part, said Japan is proud of its partnership with the Philippines, as it has led to substantial progress, especially in the areas of infrastructure cooperation and the Mindanao peace process.
Secretary Dominguez and the JICA presidents also looked forward to the implementation of the Subic Bay Regional Development Master Plan, which was finalized recently with the assistance of a JICA survey mission team.
The masterplan will serve as a blueprint to maximize the economic development potentials of Subic Bay and its surrounding areas.
JICA is supporting the implementation of 27 ongoing loans to the Philippines with a total commitment of US$10.02 billion.
Of these 27 ongoing loans, 16 support the flagship infrastructure projects under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
Japan’s financial contribution to the Philippines’ nation-building efforts under the Duterte administration has reached JPY 1.38 trillion, well over the JPY 1-trillion mark committed by then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2017.
The Philippines’ largest provider of official development assistance (ODA) is also Japan, which has committed loans and grants amounting to around US$10.449 billion, or 38.11 percent of the country’s total ODA portfolio, as of June 2021.