LEGAZPI CITY: Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe has turned over to the provincial government of Albay the P398 million multi-hazard evacuation shelters in this city.
“In ordinary times, these school buildings will create a better learning environment and give better chance to the children of Albay. At the same time, when disasters caused by typhoons and mudflow strike, they will serve as evacuation shelters,” the ambassador said.
He added that the project reaffirms the continued commitment of Japan to extend cooperation in minimizing threats of disasters and will further foster a strategic partnership between the two countries and serve as a model for other disaster-prone areas of the country.
Urabe visited the towns of Albay where the disaster shelters were built. He was toured by Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety Emergency and Management Office (Apsemo) during his two-day visit.
With his experience as a disaster “think-tank” of Albay province for more than 30 years and as disaster technical expert and adviser of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency for disaster response and rehabilitation efforts, Daep was tapped by Urabe to help them expedite rehabilitation efforts in areas hard-hit by natural calamities in Central Visayas, Bohol and Southern Mindanao.
In an interview with The Manila Times, Urabe said Albay is the most advanced province in the Philippines in terms of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation.
“We have provided Albay and Legazpi City similar disaster equipment because we share the same disaster occurrences like earthquake, typhoons and volcanic eruptions,” he said.
The six-evacuation shelters project of JICA in Albay are typhoon- and earthquake-resistant. They passed the geo-hazard survey and made use of advanced Japanese technology.
The evacuation centers are two story-buildings. The P739 million yen or P398 million grant for the construction and rehabilitation of schools to be used as evacuation shelters was signed three years ago.