The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be assisted by Japanese experts in enhancing capabilities of DPWH engineers with the end in view of applying latest technologies in the Philippines to address road disasters on hazard-prone mountain areas.
DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Office Chief Representative Takema Sakamoto signed on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 the Record of Discussions to formally commence a technical cooperation program on road disaster preventions and other countermeasures on mountainous roads.
The signed record of discussions establishes a mutual agreement for implementation of detailed plan for the project to enhance capability on implementation of permanent countermeasure works for slope disaster, emergency response, hazard maps development, and road disaster information management based on road disaster information system.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued on April 12, 2022 Special Authority to DPWH Undersecretary and Build Build Build Chief Implementer Emil K. Sadain and Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Mark Dennis Y.C. Joven to negotiate and or facilitate for and on behalf of Government of the Republic of the Philippines and JICA the record of discussions for the ₱178 million JICA grant project.
DPWH has been implementing different strategic infrastructure policies and programs which aims to: a.) to ensure safe and reliable national road system through the rehabilitation/reconstruction of national roads with slips, slope collapse and landslides, b.) to provide safe access to highly vulnerable areas; and c.) to rehabilitate, retrofit and strengthen existing bridges.
The signing event held at DPWH Central Office was also participated by Undersecretary Sadain of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations; Undersecretary Maximo L. Carvajal of Technical Services; Acting Undersecretary Constante A. Llanes Jr. of Planning Service; JICA Senior Representative Kenji Kuronuma; and Bureau Directors Ernesto S. Gregorio Jr., Aristarco M. Doroy, Edwin C. Matanguihan, and Reynaldo P. Faustino.
Secretary Mercado said that this latest collaboration program is a new seal in the partnership of DPWH and JICA in building safe, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructures resulting in the improvement of the quality of life of millions of Filipinos.
Appropriate road disaster countermeasures against landslides, debris flow, and rock collapse are necessary due to yearly occurence of strong typhoons and earthquakes in the country which renders many roads unpassable.
With the willingness of Japanese experts to share their effective technologies on landslides and other road disaster mitigation, the DPWH engineers will be able to apply the best methodology in mitigating and preventing road catastrophes, added Secretary Mercado.
Prior to signing of the record of discussions, DPWH Planning Service headed by Acting Undersecretary Llanes held a series of discussions with JICA and other relevant organizations to develop a plan for the project.
The technical cooperation project has a three (3) years and a half reckoned period with the Cordillera Administrative Region and Regions 7 and 11 as pilot sites.