The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) recently signed two agreements with the Department of Agriculture for US$22.13 million worth of grant aid projects in the Philippines. The first agreement (Record of Discussions) covers the establishment of a data capture system and improvement of artificial insemination services at the Philippine Carabao Center,
while the second (Memorandum of Understanding) covers the construction of water impounding facilities for irrigation in Isabela and Bukidnon as well as a rice processing center in a province yet to be identified. KOICA will provide a grant aid of US$3 million and US$19.13 million for both projects, respectively.
The PCC project will take effect as soon as the exchange of a Note Verbale between the Korean Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs is completed, while the water impounding and rice processing center project still requires a Record of Discussions.
KOICA Resident Representative Mr. Kim Jinoh pointed out that the agreements not only show how much KOICA values its partnership with the Department of Agriculture, but likewise demonstrate South Korea’s commitment to helping uplift the lives of Filipino farmers.
“This is a momentous occasion for KOICA because of three things. First, this is the first time since I came to the country early this year that we will be doing a signing ceremony for two very important projects. Second, the SWIP and RPC project will be the largest ever KOICA grant project in the Philippines, making this event truly historic. And third, both projects totaling over 22 million dollars will be handled with the Department of Agriculture, one of our biggest partners in the Philippines,” said Mr. Kim, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Korean government.
The amount covers the construction of buildings and other related facilities, provision of equipment, training for Filipino officials and staff in Korea and dispatch of Korean experts to the Philippines.
DA Undersecretary Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat signed the agreement on behalf of the Philippine government. Senator Francis Pangilinan and PCC Executive Director Libertado Cruz were likewise on hand to witness the event. The ceremony was held at the Philippine Carabao Center headquarters in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija on Nov. 5th.