MARABUT, Samar – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has recently turned over to the municipal officials of this town a building project which it funded.
The turnover of the newly-built two story municipal hall was held last June 7 which is part of the commitment of the Japanese government to help areas recovered from the devastation of super typhoon ‘ Yolanda’ that hit the region in 2013.
Marabut is one of the towns in Samar which sustained major damages due to Yolanda.
Yoshio Wada, JICA chief representative to the Philippines, said that the structure will serve as a testimony of a strong relationship between his nation and that of the Philippines.
“The Philippines’ and Japan’s long standing friendship has proven that our partnership remains firm whether in good times and in times of disasters. Japan shall never forget that the Philippines were one of the countries who offered help when the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck our country in 2011,” Wada said.
Town Mayor Elizabeth Ortillo received the donated project.
The rehabilitation is part of JICA’s development cooperation to assist the Philippines in promoting disaster resiliency, specifically in area that was devastated by Yolanda in November 8, 2013.
Last year, JICA also turned over a rural health unit to the town.
Japan has committed ¥4.6 billion as part of their commitment to help areas hit by Yolanda recover from the damages they have sustained.
“This municipal hall we handed over was built based on Japanese standards that emphasize quality and safety using the concept of Build Back Better,” said Wada.
The building will also serve as an evacuation center in times of a natural calamity.
The Philippines and Japan are among the top disaster-prone countries in the world, data from the 2016 World Risk Index of the United Nations (UN) showed. Their geographical positions on the Pacific Ring of Fire makes both countries particularly vulnerable to natural disasters.
“Apart from typhoon Yolanda assistance, Japan has been sharing its expertise in disaster risk reduction with the Philippines since the 1960s through hard and soft infrastructures including capacity building of the country’s frontline disaster agencies,” Tracy Melissa Decena, JICA program officer, said.
Among the JICA Grant Aid Assistance for Typhoon Yolanda Rehabilitation and Recovery are rebuilding of schools, rural health units, and providing equipment for the Department of Public Works and Highways, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to include the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), and local electric cooperatives.
A technical assistance was also provided to various regional and local government units like the production of hazard maps and quick impact projects.