Manila: Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has presented “a very accurate digital topographical map” of the Mindanao island to the Philippines’ President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III. The Topographic Mapping Project for Peace and Development in Mindanao amounting to 11.9 million yen (about $0.12 million) is the first “updated and precise digital map” developed in 60 years, according to the Japanese embassy.
Japan has been playing an active role to support the peace process in southern Philippines following the signing of the framework agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The topographic map has been completed under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) for Mindanao. The digital map, whose data can be flexibly processed and analysed, will cater to the various needs of planning for development, environmental management, disaster management, land use, socio-economic development, urban utilities management, and transport system. The project covered all 26 provinces in Mindanao, including Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and the remote islands of Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi, Turtle and Mambahenaunahan with an approximate area of 100,500 square kilometers.