KOICA BRINGS P1B WORTH OF PROJECTS IN ILOILO
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. gave KOICA President Lee Mikyung his token of appreciation during a dinner he hosted for the official on February 28. Also with him is his wife, Cosette, and Alimodian Mayor Geefre Alonsabe. (Capitol photo)
ILOILO –No country in the world has provided this province with close to a billion peso official development assistance (ODA) except for the Korea International Cooperation Agency of the Republic of South Korea.
This is according to Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. who hosted a thanksgiving and welcome dinner for KOICA President Lee Mikyung during her recently-concluded visit here.
“Only Iloilo in this country has received this much assistance from KOICA. This is not just a token assistance but assistance intended to uplift the quality of life of the people of Iloilo,” stressed Defensor.
Mikyung said that the leadership of the governor was among the factors why their projects in Iloilo became successful.
“KOICA’s projects in Iloilo succeeded because of the good leadership of Governor Defensor and I thanked him for keeping this mutual partnership strong,” said Mikyung.
Mikyung also recognized the presence of Saemaul movement in the province that promotes self-help, diligence and cooperation in implementing community-driven development projects.
Mikyung, together with their Southeast Asia Department Director Kim Junmo and Philippine Country Director Shin Myung Seop, were here to turnover their P20-million Panay Local Food Terminal in San Miguel town.
The project was part of the third phase of P65.5-million Panay Island Upland Sustainable Rural Development Project implemented through the Department of Agriculture.
It also included the establishment of ten Bayanihan Tipon Centers in Libacao and Madalag, Aklan; Patnongon, Sebaste and Tobias Fornier in Antique; Jamindan and Tapaz, Capiz; and Alimodian, Lambunao and Tubungan, Iloilo.
The third phase took off after KOICA improved the living condition (phase 1) and successfully implemented their income-generating projects for farmer associations in ten pilot upland barangays (phase 2) in Panay.
During Defensor’s term as congressman of the third district from 2001 until 2009, he asked KOICA’s help to fund the P200-million state-of-the-art Rice Processing Complex in Brgy. Amamaros, Pototan.
Since it was built in 2012, the project has been instrumental in the processing and packaging of quality milled rice from various farmers cooperative in Iloilo. It has also significantly reduced their post-harvest losses and maximized the use of their rice by-products.
In 2013, KOICA provided P287-million ODA for the expansion and rehabilitation of Iloilo’s three remote hospitals located in Alimodian, Balasan and Calinog.
The project provided the hospitals and the rural health units located in the inter-local health zone with basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal health care facilities to reduce the infant and maternal mortality rate here.
It also strengthened the health referral system of these hospitals by providing each of them with ambulances worth over P7-million.
At present, KOICA is helping the province expand and rehabilitate its seaport in Concepcion with an ODA worth $5.5-million (P275-million).