April 15, 2021
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is training a group of young Filipino professionals working in government via distance learning on disaster management courses as move to help boost the Philippines' disaster resilience amid COVID-19.
Said Filipino professionals are among the first to attend the online version of JICA's Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) - Group and Region Focus trainings implemented to support human resource development of JICA partner countries like the Philippines. "We have been supporting human resource development in the Philippines for many years. Despite the pandemic, we'd like to highlight this support even more since human resources will have a big role in a post-COVID-19 world particularly in contributing new ideas to economic recovery," said JICA Philippines Senior Representative KANO Aya.
Filipino scholar Joel Oestar from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is currently taking an online master's degree course on Seismology, Earthquake Engineering, and Tsunami Disaster Mitigation. "The course on disaster management is improving my knowledge on Philippine tectonics and how we can curb future disasters by enhancing our earthquake monitoring and warning through Japan's knowledge-sharing and expertise," said Oestar.
Another KCCP participant Abner Lawangen from the local government of Tublay, Benguet attended the virtual KCCP-GRF course on Disaster Reconstruction Assistance that concluded December 2020 but will have another batch in December 2021. He said, "The course inspired me to revisit our local COVID-19 crisis management plan and integrate lessons on institutionalizing new normal measures such as wearing masks, washing hands, disinfecting, and physical distancing to our day to day activities. The training also provided ideas on business continuity. This included the adoption of economic activities that do not need face-to-face interaction such as home-based product development and processing and online marketing."
JICA's KCCP aims to share Japan's knowledge and skills as well as the Japanese model in establishing systems and structures. It is usually held in Japan in partnership with Japanese organizations and academic institutions, but due to the pandemic, current courses are being held online. The courses usually run from a few days to weeks, to as long as one year for the master's degree courses.
Aside from disaster management, the KCCP-GRF also focuses on other development areas such as Development of Sustainable and Reliable Logistics System in Asian Region, Aviation Security, Monetary Policy and Central Bank Operations, Road Asset Management, Composting, Maritime Search and Rescue, Water Supply Administration, Universal Health Coverage, Defense Practice Against Cyber Attacks, and Healthcare among others.
The KCCP-GRF Program, JICA added, hopes to help partner countries build back better and tap potential human resources to contribute to "balancing policy making on disaster management and economic costs combined with international cooperation efforts." Despite the pandemic, 46 Filipinos benefited from the online JICA KCCP-GRF in JFY 2020. To know more about the KCCP-GRF and other JICA training programs, please visit https://www.jica.go.jp/philippine/english/index.html