January 15, 2012
ANGARA GAINS SUPPORT FROM JICA
TOKYO, JAPAN --- Senator Edgardo J. Angara today garnered another ally in his efforts towards the establishment of a Philippine Disaster Risk Management Center. During a working visit to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the said initiative met enthusiastic agreement from JICA officials, and was assured of their support.
During the meeting, both parties expressed support and condolences to one another, in light of recent environmental disasters in both countries: the catastrophic earthquake that affected Japan in March of 2011, and more recently Typhoon Sendong in the Philippines.
Angara explained to Mr. Izumi Arai, JICA Vice President, and Dr. Muto Megumi, Senior Advisor to the Director General, the proposed Disaster Risk Management Center.
"Most of the typhoons that visit the Philippines make landfall, intensify and then proceed to other countries. This shows that regional cooperation with other affected neighboring countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hawaii, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries will be extremely valuable", said Angara.
"We actually welcome the storms from the Pacific. Given the ability and technology to monitor them closely and collect relevant data, it would be beneficial in our work towards disaster risk management not only for our country, but for our neighboring countries," he continued.
Through the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), Angara has initiated the creation of a Disaster Risks Management Center to be located in Aurora Province, a common entry point of storms.
The Center will provide training for disaster risk reduction to local officials and school executives, and front line national efforts in building institutional capacity for integrated and multidisciplinary research and active collaboration among members of the Philippine and international research community.
Following the discussion, Mr. Arai expressed interest in the project and committed to review means by which they could provide support to the endeavor.
The plan and construction of said Center is currently being collaborated on by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Manila Weather Observatory, and the University of the Philippines College of Architecture.
"We have much to learn from the Japanese, particularly the Hyogo Disaster Management Center," said Angara, "and we hope that the Hyogo Prefecture, as well as JICA could be our partners in the development of our first scientific-based disaster risk management center in the Philippines."