April 27, 2023
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) met on April 27, in Manila for the Kick-off Meeting for the 2nd Stage of the "Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Capacity Enhancement Project (Phase II)" or "DRRM-CEP 2". JICA and OCD announced that they are continuously working closely with local government units (LGUs) to boost the Philippines' disaster resiliency against climate change.
"Our cooperation with the Philippines aims to elevate disaster resiliency starting from the local government level. While monitoring remains a challenge, the cooperation between OCD and other related agencies in harmonizing guidelines on the formulation of DRR plans is equally important in order to promote proper disaster planning for LGUs," said YANAGIUCHI Masanari, Senior Representative of JICA Philippines Office.
JICA and OCD have successfully completed Stage 1 for DRRM-CEP 2, wherein guidelines on using hazard information and risk assessment, and disaster plans based on disaster risk information were developed. Monitoring and evaluation, and capacity development of selected LGUs in Laguna and Bohol were also conducted. Stage 2 will expand the said activities to other selected LGUs in the provinces of Batangas and Negros Occidental, and Davao City.
The cooperation localizes the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted by United Nations (UN) member countries. It highlights the critical role of LGUs in disaster management, and efforts by JICA and OCD are exactly in line with its concepts.
"We are already seeing the harsh impact of climate change through the intensity of natural disasters, such as increasing human casualties and economic losses. It's therefore becoming more important to ensure that LGUs are able to incorporate the risks and right information in disaster planning since they are in the frontlines when disasters happen," added YANAGIUCHI.
Philippine Government data showed that the Philippines' economic losses from natural disasters account for P463-billion from 2010-2019.
OCD Asec. Hernando M. Caraig, Jr. underlined the significance of maximizing the assistance offered by the DRRM-CEP 2 project to develop DRRM in the Philippines. Caraig also conveyed OCD's gratitude to JICA and pledged complete cooperation in the project's implementation.
JICA has been involved in improving the disaster resiliency in the Philippines since the 1960s. Its Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines includes disaster management through both hard infrastructure (like dams, river revetment and retarding basins) and soft infrastructure (like capacity building) among others.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the executing agency of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), which handles technical cooperation, ODA loans and investment, and grant aid, as well as cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs. JICA is the world's largest bilateral aid agency with its scale of operations amounting to about JPY 1,536.1 billion for JFY 2021 and a worldwide network of almost 100 overseas offices including the Philippines.
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