PH, JICA Ink Agreement to Advance Disaster Mitigation in Coastal Areas

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The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has partnered anew with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to enable the Philippines increase its capacity of coping with climate change through engineering approach. 

DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado and JICA Philippines Office Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa signed on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 the Record of Discussions for the Capacity Development in Coastal Engineering for Disaster Resiliency Project, focusing on resilience of coastal communities against disasters. 

The signing event held at DPWH Central Office was also participated by DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain; UPMO Flood Control Management Cluster Project Director Ramon Arriola III; Project Manager Dolores Hipolito, and Mr. Masanaki Yamagiuchi and Ms. Chihiro Mototani of JICA. 

In his message, Secretary Mercado thanked the Government of Japan thru JICA for its sustained support to the Philippines in developing not just the quality of road and transport infrastructure but also in making communities in the archipelago more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable. 

Earlier, Secretary Mercado and Undersecretary Sadain participated at the 12th meeting thru teleconference format of the Japan-Philippines High Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation and reported the status of some big-ticket projects under JICA financing.  

The said projects are the Dalton Pass East Alignment Project, Central Mindanao Highway Project – Cagayan de Oro-Malaybalay Section, Parañaque Spillway/Tunnel Project, Davao City Flood Control and Drainage Project, and Urgent Bridges Construction Project for Rural Development  Phase 2. 

According to Undersecretary Sadain, Chief Implementer of Flagship Projects under Build Build Build Program, Japan-supported big-ticket projects have played a crucial role in shaping and bolstering the Philippine infrastructure landscape and the new cooperation between JICA and DPWH on coastal infrastructure is expected to help effectively meet the challenges of climate change and build safe, resilient, and sustainable communities. 

The Project for the Capacity Development in Coastal Engineering for Disaster Resiliency in DPWH has a project duration of five (5) years from the date of 1st dispatch of JICA Experts in July 2021.

The project involves a two-step planning method: 1) Basic Planning Survey where implementation structures are determined, and 2) Detailed Planning Survey where detailed plan is formulated to start the core activities of the project.

Core activities of the project involve: lectures, case studies, development of guidelines, implementation of at least three (3) pilot projects, establishment of human resources development program on coastal engineering and the creation of roadmap .

Case studies will be implemented 3-4 times a year, wherein 2 cases are examined in each time.

On the otherhand, the Project Road Map, focuses on providing directions on better coastline management thru actual examples observed in the Philippines, such as improvement of existing laws and policies, strategies and regulations, land use, setting of clear demarcation/responsibility of related organizations, law enforcement, public awareness/education and technical knowledge dissemination/training of technical staff.