Press Release
March 15, 2011

Legarda: Senate Approves PHL-Japan Technical Cooperation
Agreement on Third Reading

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, reported today that the Senate has approved on third reading the Philippine-Japan Agreement on Technical Cooperation (ATC).

"I am pleased to announce that the Philippine-Japan Agreement on Technical Cooperation has been approved on third reading. This is an agreement that would bring a multitude of benefits to our country," Legarda said.

"For the Philippines, a country with myriad concerns and endless economic challenges, official development assistance (ODA) supplements our government's meagre resources toward promoting sustainable development. Japan is our top source of ODA. In 2009, it accounted for 36%, or about US$ 3.46 Billion, of the total loan commitments to the country," she added.

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.

"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 Senate's concurrence with this measure signals an even stronger and meaningful cooperation with Japan," Legarda concluded.

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