ADB, Japan Grant to Benefit Almost 6,000 Families in Laguna's Southville 7

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Japan today provided a $1.5 million grant to improve access to basic services and provide livelihood opportunities for nearly 6,000 families in the Southville 7 community of Laguna, Philippines, who have survived displacement by fire and natural disasters, such as tropical storm Ondoy.

"We are pleased to give life to Southville 7. The community will now have basic facilities and more importantly, hope to rebuild their lives after tragic circumstances,” said Kunio Senga, Director General of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction grant will be administered by ADB and used by the Philippine government to provide community facilities, and electricity for 2,041 houses. The Laguna Water District and Calauan local government unit will also provide $250,000 for a water system. The community will also see solar streetlights installed, greater access to safe drinking water, livelihood assistance and social enterprise development, and the use and management of 20 electric tricycles.

This pilot project, involving multi-sector partners sustainably developing poor and underserviced communities, will eventually be replicated in other parts of the country. The total project cost is $6 million, with contributions from the Philippine government, the private sector and the community. The National Housing Authority is the executing agency while the ABSCBN Foundation Inc., which has been operating in the community since 2009, is the grant’s implementing agency.

A Letter of Agreement was signed today by Mr. Senga; Regina Paz Lopez, Managing Director of the ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.; and Chito Cruz, General Manager of NHA. Vice President Jejomar Binay witnessed the signing in his capacity as Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and NHA. Also present at the signing ceremony were Toshinao Urabe, Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines; and Riccardo Loi, Director, ADB Office of Cofinancing Operations.

Since its establishment in 2000, the JFPR has supported almost 150 grant projects worth more than $450 million throughout Asia and the Pacific. The Philippines has 11 grant projects, amounting to $18.8 million, ranging from urban renewal projects in Metro Manila to the establishment of Women’s Resource Centers for poor women vendors in Mindanao.