Japan grants Sorsogon town P4.1-M fund for learning center

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

MANILA -- The Japanese government, through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), has provided a municipality in Sorsogon province a PHP4.1 million grant, it was learned Thursday.

According to the Japanese Embassy in Manila, the grant covers the construction of a two-storey, two-classroom learning center, with furniture and equipment, that would provide a proper and safe learning environment to approximately 950 students in Magallanes.

The town has a high incidence of drop-outs and out-of-school children, largely due to poverty.

To resolve the issue, the local government implemented an educational program called the Alternative Learning System (ALS).

However, the only available building to hold classes in is in poor condition, with its leaky ceiling expected to collapse anytime. It also lacks learning materials and training equipment, compromising the learning process and the safety of the students.

Last Tuesday, Manabu Yasukawa, the embassy's first secretary, attended the turnover ceremony on the “Construction of Community Learning Center in the Municipality of Magallanes, Sorsogon”.

The ceremony was also attended by Magallanes Mayor Augusto Manuel Ragragio, members of the Municipal Council, Department of Education Division Office officials, and the project’s beneficiaries.

An estimated 2,895 residents who are willing to avail of the free education program stand to benefit from the project once it is done.

Japan, as the country’s top Official Development Assistance donor, launched the GGP in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities.

At present, 533 grassroots projects have been implemented under the initiative. (PNA)