November 4, 2016
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) cited Ormoc City as model for disaster resiliency in the Philippines.
JICA said the local government of Ormoc has successfully sustained past cooperation activities with JICA including flood mitigation structures such as dikes and river dams built by Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the aftermath of Typhoon Uring (Thelma) in 1991.
"The achievements of Ormoc in disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) show that we can get things done together by raising our understanding of disasters, harnessing available resources, and strengthening community preparedness," said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito during the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Ormoc Flood Disaster.
Typhoon Uring (Thelma), one of the worst disasters in the Philippines before Typhoon Yolanda, has killed more than 8,000 people in Ormoc, Leyte.
As the Philippines' long-standing development partner since the 1960s, JICA built four bridges and three slit dams to mitigate floods and landslides in Ormoc in 1997 until 2001.
LGUs in Ormoc also worked with JICA to establish a Flood Mitigation Committee that promoted disaster response efforts at the local level.
"Like Ormoc, Japan is also getting back on its feet following the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. JICA continues to work with Ormoc and the rest of the Philippines in enhancing disaster resiliency and preparedness," added Ito.
As gesture of appreciation to Japanese government's efforts and to JICA's assistance, Ormoc City has named a 10-meter wide street after Japanese engineer Makoto Migata who worked for the flood mitigation projects. The street leads to a resettlement area of typhoon victims.
JICA also commended Ormoc's effective management and maintenance of the JICA-aided flood mitigating structures to this day, proving that community cooperation can maximize the benefits of Japan's development cooperation assistance.