MANILA Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda on Tuesday exchanged notes on key projects on the Philippines and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The two officials exchanged notes on the official development assistance (ODA)-supported Project on the Septage Management of Metro Cebu Water District, as well as on the regime of Privileges and Immunities for the ASEAN-Japan Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
In a joint press event with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, President Duterte paid high compliments to Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), called it the gold standard by which the Philippines reckons its development cooperation with other partners," Locsin said during a ceremony at the Department of Foreign Affairs office.
"None will dispute the tribute. Whether in terms of Japan's reliability as a partner for bridging gaps in our infrastructure investment and financing needs, concessionality of terms, or the quality and impact of resulting projects, Japanese ODA is unrivaled. Visible signs of the Philippines-Japan development partnership dot our cityscapes and the countryside, he added.
Benefiting from a Japanese grant of up to 2.052 billion, the Project on the Septage Management of Metro Cebu Water District will reduce water pollution and waste and improve waste disposal in Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Cebu City and Talisay City, by putting in place large-scale waste treatment technology such as septic tank sludge treatment facilities, and the procurement of vacuum trucks.
The project is in line with the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan's Water Quality Management objective.
Meanwhile, the TCA sets out the legal framework for the provision by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of direct assistance to ASEAN as an international organization, as opposed to assistance extended to the individual ASEAN member states.
The Exchange of Notes on the Privileges and Immunities of the Technical Cooperation Agreement between ASEAN and Japan between Locsin and Haneda confirmed the agreement by the two governments to have the privileges and immunities provisions of the counterpart bilateral agreement, the Philippines-Japan Agreement of Technical Cooperation (ATC) of 2006, apply to the Philippines' implementation of the ASEAN-Japan TCA.
These privileges and immunities will apply chiefly to technical experts dispatched in connection with assistance projects.
The exchanges of notes were witnessed by officials of the Metro Cebu Water District, the DFA, and the Japanese embassy. (PR)
Source: Philippines News Agency