The Knowledge Co-Creation Program is part of JICA’s development cooperation with the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines (Apr. 11, 2017) — The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) urges young Filipinos to join the disaster management training in Japan, an initiative meant to boost the capacity of the Philippines on disaster preparedness and response.
The training called JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program (Young Leaders) is part of JICA’s development cooperation with the Philippines that also aims to share Japan’s knowledge and experiences to address needs of Japan’s partner countries.
“Japan and the Philippines are both located on the Pacific Ring of Fire making us particularly vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural disasters. As a long-standing development partner of the Philippines, JICA is committed to help the Philippines achieve resilience towards long-term economic growth and sustainable development,” said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito.
The training includes an 18-day course on Regional Revitalization in Disaster Prone Area (July 9-26, 2017) and is open to young Filipinos, ages 20 to 35 years old.
Participants are expected to learn from Japan’s recovery and rehabilitation efforts in Higashimatsushima and Ishinomaki cities devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. They will also attend lectures in the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, a research center established by the Tohoku University following the 2011 earthquake disaster in Japan.
“Our learning experience in Japan made us dream further on how we practice Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in the Philippines. Yet it challenged us to realize those dreams despite the cultural and institutional differences we have with Japan and the many challenges we face in our respective offices and institutions,” said Ian James Secillano, Municipal DRRM Officer of Libon, Albay and last year’s participant of the said training program.
Albay is one of the Philippines’ disaster-prone areas. An average of 3 to 5 typhoons out of the 19-21 typhoon occurrences in the country directly hit the province. Albay’s Mayon Volcano also threatens 3 cities and 5 municipalities in the area, according to the province’s government data.
In all, JICA has trained about 40,000 Filipinos in Japan to study various sectors such as agriculture, health, business and tourism, planning and government to cite a few.
The Asia Pacific is vulnerable to natural disasters. In 2015, the region accounted for 47% of the total 300 natural disasters in the world, data from the UNESCAP showed. Economic costs from these disasters amounted to 45 million dollars, according to the same report. Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, was among the most disaster-prone sub-regions in the Asia Pacific for the same period.
JICA is Japan’s comprehensive development institution, which handles technical cooperation, ODA loans and investment, and grant aid, as well as cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs. JICA is the world’s largest bilateral aid agency with its volume of cooperation amounting to about USD 21.2 billion for JFY 2015 and a world-wide network of about 100 overseas offices including the Philippines.