The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has teamed up with Japanese experts in a move to improve the Philippines disaster risk reduction countermeasures through coastal engineering.
DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain spearheaded the first joint coordinating committee meeting for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted Technical Cooperation Project for Capacity Development in Coastal Engineering for Disaster Resiliency.
The first joint coordinating committee meeting held September 20, 2022 at DPWH Head Office was participated by DPWH Assistant Secretary Constante A. Llanes Jr.; UPMO Flood Control Management Cluster (UPMO-FCMC) Project Director Ramon A. Arriola III; JICA Philippines Senior Representative Masanari Yanagiuchi and other JICA Philippines officials; First Secretary Hiroyuki Kudo and Second Secretary Tomohiro Matsubara of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines; Senior Deputy Director Masahiro Yamaguchi of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT); Mr. Tomoo Iba, Dr. Daiki Tsujio and other members of the JICA Project Team; Bureau of Design OIC-Director Edwin Matanguihan, Bureau of Construction Assistant Director Edgardo Garces, Bureau of Maintenance Assistant Director Teofila Borlongan; and UPMO Project Manager Dolores Hipolito.
The project work plan was presented by the JICA Project Team to the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) and Technical Working Group (TWG) for the Project for Capacity Development in Coastal Engineering for Disaster Resiliency which was created thru Special Order 152 issued on August 3, 2022 by DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan in order to establish effective coordination and collaboration with concerned agencies/officials and ensure the smooth conduct of the project with Senior Undersecretary Sadain as Chairperson and Project Director Arriola as Vice-Chairperson.
The five-year technical cooperation project will come up with a human resource development plan to strengthen the DPWH’s capacity and know-how in building disaster-proof structures along coastal areas in the Philippines.
Japanese experts on coastal engineering will share their experiences and train DPWH personnel on planning and designing structures in coastal areas and studying how existing laws and policies can be improved to bridge the gap in disaster management, said Senior Undersecretary Sadain.
On behalf of DPWH Secretary Bonoan, our sincerest appreciation to the Government of Japan thru JICA for the relentless support to the Philippines in developing not just transport infrastructure but also in making communities more safe, resilient, and sustainable, added Senior Undersecretary Sadain.
Also invited at the meeting as official members of the joint coordinating committee for the Philippine side are representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government; Department of Tourism; Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology; National Mapping and Resource Information Authority; Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration; Office of Civil Defense; Philippine Ports Authority; Philippine Reclamation Authority; Philippine Space Agency; and the University of the Philippines.
The joint committee meeting has been an effective platform for exchange of information, ideas, opinions and experiences among key actors in coastal management as well as in reaching consensus on the considerations and planned approach towards achievement of the objectives of the project.
As natural phenomenon keeps on changing, the Project Team also discussed some coastal issues such as erosion, flooding and damaged coastal infrastructures in selected sites within the Luzon and Visayas region based on their recent surveys and site visits.
In his closing message, Project Director Arriola expressed hope that respective offices/agencies will continue to support this project through active participation in future seminars and meetings, as well as through sharing of coastal-related data and information.