May 30, 2022
On May 18, 2022, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) signed a Record of Discussions (RD) for the new Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) for "Road Disaster Prevention and other Countermeasures on Mountainous Roads". The RD was signed by Acting Secretary of DPWH Roger Mercado and JICA Philippines' Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema.
The Philippines' geographic location in the Pacific makes it vulnerable to natural disasters similarly to Japan. Large-scale road disasters such as landslides occur in this archipelagic country every year due to strong typhoons, earthquakes, etc. making public roads severely damaged and inaccessible. JICA and DPWH agreed to implement this three (3)-year project from 2022 to 2025 to enhance the Department's capability to avoid, minimize and respond to the damage caused by landslides, debris flow, and rock collapse, etc., by implementing road disaster prevention and countermeasures via the said project.
Exchange of Record of Discussion (RD) folders as witnessed by both JICA and DPWH staff.
Through the cooperation, Japan's expertise in disaster-proof high quality infrastructure will be shared to DPWH through capacity development activities on road disaster response and management including the development of hazard maps and Road Disaster Information System. The project will pilot in Region VII (Central Visayas), Region XI (Davao), and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
"JICA continues to support the Philippines in enhancing quality infrastructure with the concept of sustainability, inclusion and resilience, in order to save lives, economic growth, poverty alleviation and improved quality of life for all. Japan and the Philippines are both disaster-prone countries, thus we can share our expertise for the better future. Our collaboration in this field can contribute to saving more lives by developing the capacity of DPWH in implementing countermeasures to road disasters. In addition to saving lives, this project can help preserve and prolong the asset lives of public works investments, thereby saving on financing requirements of the country as well. ," said JICA Philippines Chief Representative SAKAMOTO. He added, "This cooperation can also create jobs and promote investments in a post-COVID economy".
Prior to this, JICA supported DPWH engineers' capacity development efforts on road slope protection technology for small-scale collapse or damage through a series of Technical Cooperation Projects named "Improvement of Quality Management for Highway and Bridge Construction and Maintenance Phase I, II, and III," which was implemented from 2007 up to 2019.
Over the years, JICA has been helping the Philippines promote seamless mobility and better connectivity across the country for its prosperity throughout its cooperation in roads and bridges.