MANILA – The Japanese government officially turned over 425 metric tons of rice to the National Food Authority (NFA) to assist the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption in Batangas province last January 2020, Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda announced on Friday.
The donation was made by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) under the framework of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).
“Japan doesn’t neglect victims of the volcanic eruptions despite the pandemic,” Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda said in a tweet.
The rice sacks were turned over on Oct. 26 by the Embassy’s economic minister Nakata Masahiro at a simple ceremony in Batangas.
Also present during the ceremony were NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal, Department of Social Welfare and Development Bureau Director Emmanuel Privado, and Batangas Provincial Administrator Levi Dimaunahan.
APTERR is a regional cooperation initiative among ASEAN, Japan, South Korea, and China focused on supporting Southeast Asian states affected by natural disasters.
The initiative started in 2002 during the ASEAN+3 Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF+3).
In 2019, Japan provided 560 metric tons of rice under the APTERR to households in Ilocos Norte affected by Typhoon “Ineng” (Bailu) and those from Pangasinan affected by Typhoon “Jenny” (Podul).