January 19, 2018

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary for Investment Programming Rolando G. Tungpalan has been conferred a prestigious international award by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for his contributions in the delivery of countless JICA-assisted projects in the Philippines.

Tungpalan is the only Filipino among the 29 individuals selected from all over the world for the JICA Awards in the individual category. The awards, now on its 13th round, were annually given to individuals, projects, and organizations in recognition of their long-standing contributions to JICA’s activities in Japan and overseas.

“Undersecretary Tungpalan has been instrumental in steering the partnership between the Philippine and Japanese governments to where it is today,” Susumu Ito, JICA Chief Representative in the Philippines said of Tungpalan at a ceremony held at the JICA Philippines Office in Makati City on Wednesday afternoon.

At the awarding ceremony, Tungpalan was joined by other recipients of the JICA President Awards in the project category, including Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero.

Three of the nine projects for which the awards were given are in the Philippines. These are the 1) Project for Cordillera-wide Strengthening of the Local Health System for Effective and Efficient Delivery of Maternal and Child Health Services, awarded to the Department of Health – Cordillera Administrative Region, the provincial government units of Abra, Apaya, and Benguet and Koei Research & Consulting Inc.; 2) Project on Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda, awarded to the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Interior and Local Government, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the city government of Tacloban and the municipal government of Palo; and 3) the Comprehensive and Continuous Cooperation for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), awarded to the PCG.

In his acceptance speech, Tungpalan thanked JICA and noted that the award likewise “belongs to NEDA, the institution that I have also served for four decades.”

Tungpalan, who started his career in public service in 1976, chairs the Investment Coordination Committee-Technical Board, the inter-agency committee of the NEDA Board that screens public sector investments and infrastructure projects before these are elevated to the ICC-Cabinet Committee for approval.

The ICC-TB deliberates proposals and considers various options available to implement and finance a project.

“The projects that have been given awards today are testimonies of the impact that our cooperation has achieved in the last four decades,” Tungpalan said.

JICA also conferred the JICA Chief Representative Awards on former DPWH Undersecretary Raul C. Asis, Mary, Mediatrix V. Villanueva, chairperson of the Dios Mabalos Po Foundation, Inc,, Japan Agricultural Exchange Council, and the Philippine Rice Research Institute.​