Press Release
March 8, 2011

Legarda Seeks Senate Concurrence with PHL-Japan Technical
Cooperation Agreement

Senator Loren Legarda today sought for the support of her colleagues in the Senate to concur with an international agreement that would better facilitate technical cooperation between the governments of Philippines and Japan.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, submitted and recommended the approval on second reading of Committee Report No. 20 on the Philippine-Japan Agreement on Technical Cooperation (ATC).

"For the Philippines, a country with myriad concerns and endless economic challenges, official development assistance (ODA) supplements our government's meager resources toward promoting sustainable development. Japan is our top source of ODA," she said in her sponsorship speech.

She explained that one of the forms of official development assistance provided by Japan is technical cooperation which is aimed at supporting the Philippines' development through: (1) training programs in Japan; (2) the dispatch of technical cooperation experts to the Philippines to impart technical knowledge and skills to various agencies; (3) provision of equipment and materials; and (4) the conduct of development studies.

For the period 2000-2008, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) implemented 116 technical cooperation projects amounting to about Php25.5 billion.

"The magnitude and extent of Japan's technical cooperation projects over the years underscore the importance of the Agreement on Technical Cooperation with Japan. This instrument reduces administrative burdens and helps synergize the technical assistance from Japan," Legarda said.

The Agreement will replace the redundant process of having to periodically exchange Note Verbales for each and every Technical Cooperation Project between Japan and the Philippines. Notes Verbales contain the provisions on tax exemptions, immunities, and privileges of Japanese experts dispatched here in the Philippines.

"Development is a partnership and as such, donor and recipient countries need to cooperate on the basis of a duly established framework for cooperation. This Agreement on Technical Cooperation lends emphasis to our role as a recipient country that is charged with directing our development agenda and assuming responsibilities as well," the Senator said.

"This Agreement has had the benefit of review and consultations by the Committee on Foreign Relations of the 14th and the current Congress. I submit this measure for consideration by this august Chamber, trusting that the Senate's concurrence with this measure will signal an even stronger and meaningful cooperation with Japan," Legarda concluded.

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