July 5, 2017
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) announced the completion of seven (7) school buildings as part of its continuing support to the "Build Back Better" recovery and rehabilitation activities for Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas.
The completed school buildings to be handed over are as follows: San Roque Elementary School, Sto. Nino Elementary School, Daniel Z. Romualdez Memorial Elementary School, Dulag Central Elementary School, MacArthur Elementary School, Marabut Elementary School, Giporlos Central Elementary School and Osmeῆa Elementary School. The rehabilitated school buildings were funded from JICA's 4.6 Billion Yen grant aid for Typhoon Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation that also includes a rural health unit (RHU), and the out-patient department (OPD) building of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC).
Using Japanese technology and expertise in quality infrastructure, the school buildings can also function as local emergency hubs in the future.
"As a long-standing development partner and friend of the Philippines, we hope that these school buildings will not just be a place of learning but also as evacuation space in times of disasters," said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito. In the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, Japan through JICA was among the first bilateral aid partners of the Philippines to provide emergency relief support and development assistance for recovery and rehabilitation activities in the area.
Aside from its grant aid, JICA also assisted recovery efforts in Typhoon Yolanda areas through quick impact projects to restore livelihood and provided a 50-Billion Yen post-disaster standby-loan.
Under JICA's Urgent Development Study on the Project on Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda hazard maps and a handbook for comprehensive land use plan (CLUP) were also developed with LGUs in Leyte and Samar. These materials will help build common understanding on the necessity and importance of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM)at the LGU level.
JICA added that its development assistance for Typhoon Yolanda areas aims to help the Philippines further improve its resiliency and minimize damage from natural disasters.
"Japan continues to learn from our experiences after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 and sharing these lessons is proof of our commitment to continue our partnership in improving disaster readiness and resilience of our neighbors such as the Philippines", added Ito.
In the Philippines, Japan through JICA continues to share its disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) expertise through its projects including capacity building of the country's frontline agencies.