MANILA - Japan will provide 1,152 million yen (around $11.25 million or P501 million) over four years to help the Philippines acquire communications and navigation control systems aimed at enhancing maritime safety in the country, a Japanese foreign aid official said Wednesday.
Juan Paulo Fajardo, an official at the local office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, said the agreement was signed last week by JICA Philippines chief representative Noriaki Niwa and Philippine Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
"It's a multiyear grant project that begins this year and is expected to be completed by 2017," Fajardo told Kyodo News.
The aid project, to be channeled through the Philippine Coast Guard, covers the installation of transportable satellite-based communications system, and the acquisition of a vessel traffic management system to be installed on Cebu island in the central Philippines.
Niwa said upgrading the maritime communications system would catalyze socioeconomic development, improve the safety of navigation and reduce maritime accidents in the Philippines.
JICA said Tuesday Japan will also donate 100 million yen to the Philippines for "quick-impact" projects to help rebuild the southern island of Mindanao, following the signing of a peace accord last month between the Philippine government and the Muslim Moro rebels.