June 26, 2018
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) signed this week a 1.84-billion yen grant aid for a flood control project in Cagayan de Oro River Basin and for human resource development scholarship.
The grant aid is part of JICA's support to help improve the quality of lives of Filipinos and contribute to the country's sustainable and inclusive development.
The 1.278-billion yen project Improvement of Flood Forecasting and Warning System for Cagayan de Oro River Basin was requested by the Philippines from JICA to help reduce flood risks in Northern Mindanao.
Cagayan de Oro River is one of the 18 major rivers in the Philippines that stretches along 97 kilometers and has a catchment area of 1,364 square kilometers. During heavy rains, floods from upstream rains reach downstream urban areas in short hours posing risks to lives and communities. In 2017, the river overflowed in the aftermath of tropical storm Vinta, severely affecting Cagayan de Oro City.
Under JICA's development cooperation, a flood forecasting and warning network will be established in partnership with the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). JICA will support both hard (radar, rainfall gauges, and water level sensors) and soft infrastructure (capacity building of counterparts) to help ensure accurate flood forecasting and timely flood warnings.
Meanwhile, the 563-million yen project for Human Resource Development Scholarship aims to help young people working in government by giving them study opportunities in Japan and contribute to Philippine development upon return.
Already, 319 Filipinos have been given this scholarship, and 21 more professionals from government have been accepted this year.
"The Human Resource Development Scholarship project not only strengthens the relationship of JICA and the Philippines through people-to-people exchange, it also gives us the chance to share Japan's accumulated knowledge and expertise to promote inclusive development," said JICA Philippines Chief Representative Yoshio Wada.
Under the grant aid, Filipino scholars will have the opportunity to study in Japan's leading universities, namely Kobe University, International University of Japan, International Christian University, and Nagoya University among others.
At the signing, former JDS scholar Assistant Secretary for CyberSecurity and Enabling Technologies at the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Engineer Allan Salim Cabanlong spoke about his Japan experience as JDS Fellow. Cabanlong is a graduate of Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan in 2010 with Master of Science in Global Information and Telecommunications Studies.
Historically, Japan's economic resurgence depended on education and human resource development. The Philippines is among the top recipients of this grant aid scholarship along with China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. Filipino recipients of JDS often hold key positions or become experts in their field after finishing the scholarship.
JICA, through its development cooperation activities in the Philippines, commits to supporting the government's economic agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global vision set by countries around the world to help improve the lives of people for the next 15 years.
National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia and JICA Philippines Chief Representative Yoshio Wada at the signing of the grant aid agreement for a flood control project in Cagayan de Oro river basin and for human resource development scholarship