By: Philippine Resources September 18, 2023

Top officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), met on Wednesday, September 12, 2023 at the DPWH Central Office for the 3rd DPWH-JICA Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) Meeting on the ongoing Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) for Road Disaster Prevention and Other Countermeasures on Mountainous Road.

The meeting was led by DPWH Senior Undersecretary and JICA-TCP Chairman Emil K. Sadain; Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Second Secretary Kinoshita Akito; Fukui Keisuke; JICA Philippines Senior Representative Kinoshita Akito; DPWH Assistant Secretary and JICA-TCP Project Manager Constante A. Llanes, Jr.; DPWH OIC-Assistant Secretary Medmier G. Malig; DPWH Bureau and Service Directors; and Regional Directors in the pilot regions of the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 7, and 11.

“Numerous roads in the mountainous areas of the Philippines become impassable each year as a result of large-scale road disasters and landslides caused by strong typhoons and earthquakes. This project is relevant and timely as this has given way for us to address the needs of the country in infrastructure management,” said Senior Undersecretary Sadain, who then thanked the Government of Japan for the assistance.

According to DPWH Senior Undersecretary Sadain, the third JCC meeting was held to discuss the project’s progress since the last meeting in February 2023 as well as the work plan moving forward. The third meeting specifically covered the capability enhancement on hazard mapping, which is the expected Output No. 3 of the TCP. Other outputs include capability enhancement for the Department’s permanent countermeasure works (Output 1), emergency response (Output 2), and road disaster information management (Output 4).

Based on the progress report covering the period of February 2023 to August 2023, a portion of Baguio-Bontoc Road in Benguet was selected as the pilot road section for hazard mapping in CAR; the existing evaluation sheet for hazard category was revised and simplified; and on-site trainings on selection, evaluation, and ranking of selected sites for hazard mapping, as well as preparation of hazard maps, were conducted for the DPWH Counterpart Working Group (CWG) and District Engineering Office (DEO) members in CAR and Region 7.

Moreover, several discussions among the Japan Expert Team were held that were integrated into Outputs 3 and 4. Seminars on hazard evaluation and mapping were also conducted in the DPWH Central Office, CAR, and Region 7.

In the next six (6) months, the TCP aims to carry out hazard mapping activities led by the DPWH CWG in CAR and Region 7, supported by the Japan Expert Team. It also targets to identify the pilot section in Region 11, followed by the conduct of seminars on hazard mapping, and finally hazard mapping activities led by the DPWH CWG in Region 11, with support from the Japan Expert Team.

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