Minister Akio Isomata, Embassy of Japan's Minister for Economic Affairs turned over fishing nets and dredging machines to the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in a ceremony last March 14 for the Japan-funded Non-Project Grant Aid for the Restoration and Disaster Prevention in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental. The ceremony was also attended by Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno and Congressman Rufus Rodriquez.
The assistance, signed two (2) years ago, provided 600 million yen (approximately 315 million pesos) for the purchase of necessary products for the recovery and disaster prevention of Typhoon Sendong affected areas. Aside from the fishing nets and dredgers, housing materials will also be provided under this project to assist the victims in the restoration and rebuilding of their homes. This assistance comes on top of the 25 million yen (approximately 14 million pesos) emergency relief, composed of water tanks, tents and other relief items, and the 2 million US dollar emergency grant through international humanitarian agencies.
In his speech during the ceremony, Minister Isomata referred to the importance of proactive involvement of local communities in enhancing disaster preparedness and said, "Japan, being also a disaster-prone country, is committed to assist the Philippines in enhancing its ability for disaster risk reduction and management, and have worked together with the Philippines in this field for many years through various ODA projects. But, there is one thing we always have to bear in mind in implementing any kind of disaster-related efforts. That is, we need a heightened awareness of local communities for the prevention of natural disasters even at normal times."
Japan, as the top donor of ODA to the Philippines as well as a disaster-prone country itself, has supported the Philippines' disaster mitigation and management efforts by sharing its experiences and lessons learned from the past natural disasters. Recently, the Government of Japan provided assistance for the victims of Typhoon Pablo in 2012, the Bohol Earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Moreover, a 50 billion yen Post-Disaster Standby Loan was signed last December 2013, when President Aquino visited Tokyo, to further assist in the restoration and recovery of disaster stricken areas. These projects reaffirm the continued commitment of Japan to extend cooperation in minimizing threats and impacts of disasters.