August 6, 2021
Aside from the pandemic, the Philippines continues to battle against natural extreme events and disasters.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that these have cost the country P463 billion in damages from 2010 to 2019.
Studies also point to typhoons and floods accounting for about 80% of natural disasters in the country and typhoon season costing about 2% of annual GDP on average.
With this, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), Public Works Research Institute in Japan, and University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) are teaming up in a research project to study water-related disaster risks in the Philippines, particularly in the Pampanga River Basin and Pasig-Marikina River and Laguna Lake Basin.
The Project for Development of a Hybrid Water-Related Disaster Risk Assessment Technology for Sustainable Local Economic Development Policy or HyDEPP is part of the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) of JICA promoting joint research between Japanese institutions and partner countries like the Philippines to help address global issues like climate change.
Also part of the project are University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin), government agencies such as Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Japanese universities namely University of Tokyo, Tohoku University, University of Shiga Prefecture, Nagoya University, and Kyoto University.
"As the Philippines experiences floods and droughts in rural and urban areas, it's important to assess the risks they bring. We look forward to seeing the results of this research translated to and reflected in the Philippines' national and local government plans, programs, and policies," said JICA Philippines Senior Representative OHSHIMA Ayumu.
The research, JICA added, is an important step to integrate data related to flood and drought risks and analyze the factors that come into play in water-related disaster resilience such as flood and drought control, water use, environment, industry, agriculture, and fishery among others.
JICA SATREPS projects are also being carried out in countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Peru, Thailand, and Malaysia to name a few. In the Philippines, aside from this research on water-related disaster risks, ongoing SATREPS projects include Development of Extreme Weather Monitoring and Information Sharing System in the Philippines and BlueCARES (Comprehensive Assessment and Conservation of Blue Carbon Ecosystems and their Services in the Coral Triangle).