With governments of the Philippines and Japan facing the same issue on natural disasters, both nations continuously extend assistance to further improve disaster preparedness and risk management in key areas vulnerable to such calamities.
To help improve flood control in Filipino communities, Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe turned over mobile drainage pumps to the Department of PublicWorks and Highways (DPWH) on July 9 in Pasig City. In the turnover ceremony, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson accepted the drainage pumps from the Japanese government.
“Both the Philippines and Japan are disaster-prone countries. The sense of loss and desperation after a disaster is something we want to avoid at all cost. However, disasters can happen anywhere and it’s unavoidable,” Ambassador Urabe said in his speech.
“On the positive side, Japan and the Philippines learned how to cope with disaster, before and after. The resilience to pick ourselves from the ground and keep on going, the community spirit like bayanihan, I see similarity in Filipino and Japanese attitude. Also, sharing the same experience creates solidarity,” he added.
Recognizing this similarity between two nations, the “Project for Improvement of Equipment for Disaster Risk Management” was funded by the Japanese government, which was signed two years ago. In this project, the Japanese government provided P518 million for the procurement of eight mobile drainage pumps, the installation of Real-time Earthquake and Tsunami Monitoring Systems, and a Tsunami Simulation Database for the Philippines’ disaster risk reduction efforts.
Ambassador Urabe further stressed the importance of preparedness to natural disasters. He said, “Investment in disaster preparedness pays. It is my sincere wish that the experience acquired through this pilot project will promote public awareness and stimulate further disaster mitigation investment in the Philippines.”
As a disaster-prone country itself, Japan has supported the Philippines’ disaster mitigation efforts by sharing its experiences and lessons learned from the past natural disasters.
“Investment in disaster preparedness pays. According to surveys, one dollar of disaster mitigation investment can save seven dollars of damage,” the ambassador remarked.
This project reaffirms the continued commitment of Japan to extend cooperation in minimizing threats of disasters. It is also expected to further foster the strategic partnership between the two countries and serve as a model for other disaster-prone areas of the Philippines.
“It is my sincere wish that the experience acquired through this pilot project will promote public awareness and stimulate further disaster mitigation investment in the Philippines,” the Japanese ambassador concluded.