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Japan to boost disaster-management knowledge-sharing with PH

Japan to boost disaster-management knowledge-sharing with PH

MANILA, Philippines — The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has committed to ramping up its disaster-management knowledge-sharing partnership with the Philippines, especially as the Taal Volcano continues to rumble.

In a statement, the Japanese government’s aid arm said it will “continue working with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and attached agencies of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in improving the planning, implementation, and monitoring system of regional and local disaster risk reduction and management plans.”

Last year, JICA and OCD agreed to embark on the second phase of their joint Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Capacity Enhancement Project, which will be piloted in Calabarzon and Central Visayas.

JICA noted these two regions that will host the project’s second phase were affected by Taal Volcano’s eruption this month in the case of Calabarzon, while Central Visayas was devastated by the onslaught of Typhoon Ursula last month.

Specifically, the joint JICA-OCD project will aid national government agencies as well as local government units in developing user-friendly guidelines for regional and local hazard risk information; establishing guidelines in planning based on disaster risk information to reduce human and economic losses; improving information management systems; and training disaster management personnel at the regional and local government levels, according to JICA.

“Like Japan, the Philippines is also vulnerable to disasters. This is also why part of our development assistance to the Philippines covers sharing Japan’s expertise and experiences in disaster management. We hope that our ongoing cooperation with OCD will further add value to the Philippines’ disaster resiliency efforts, especially in planning, implementation, and monitoring. Our experiences teach us that there’s still room to improve the disaster risk reduction and management system of our countries. By investing in disaster management, we will be able to ensure that the vulnerable sector is not left behind,” JICA Philippines senior representative Ayumu Ohshima said.

Separately, the Embassy of Japan in Manila said the Japanese government had “decided to provide in-kind emergency assistance of anti-dust respirators and others through JICA in response to the damage caused by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Taal.”

“As a volcanic country like the Philippines, Japan has repeatedly experienced hardship caused by volcanic activities in its history. We are in solidarity with the people of the Philippines in facing this challenge,” the Japanese embassy said.