Villar, during the inauguration of P788 million Tagoloan River Basin flood protection dike in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental reiterated tragedies like typhoon Sendong eight years ago cannot happen again.
Typhoon Sendong brought heavy rains causing massive flooding in Cagayan de Oro, leading to painful deaths to thousands of people and destroying millions worth of infrastructure.
“These tragedies inspire us to build the P778M flood mitigation project,” he said.
The flood mitigation committee of DPWH through the Japan aid program initiated the construction of flood control projects since the Ormoc tragedy (flooding) in 1991 which resulted to deaths of more than 8,000 residents.
Villar said, because of this, Ormoc City is one of the pioneers in conducting operation and maintenance for the flood mitigation committee with the leadership of the LGU and assistance of DPWH.
Now, funded through a loan agreement from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the flood control structure in Tagoloan Misamis Oriental involves construction of a 692 meter upstream and 1.9 kilometer downstream revetment structures as well as excavation works and drainage improvement.
Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines, Koji Haneda said disaster risk management is a concern with high priority.
“The natural calamities that disrupt lives and economic activities call to fortify our communities is now louder than ever,” he said.
The Tagoloan River Basin is one of the largest of its kind in the Philippines, priority area for flood risk mitigation in the country.
The construction of river dikes and improvement of drainage channels is expected to secure economic gains and the lives of the locals in general from the destructive impact caused by flooding.
In our effort to further facilitate our bilateral cooperation in this field, Haneda said, we have also convened the Japan and Philippine policy dialogue on disaster risk reduction and management two years ago.
The DPWH as one of our dialogue partners, he explained, has been working double time with us in building structural defenses and paving the way for development to flow into the local communities.
Here in Mindanao, we expect to work closer with DPWH to concretize Japan’s support for $202 million road network development project in conflict affected areas, he said.
Aside from flood control projects, Secretary Villar assures more project will be coming to Mindanao to solve traffic decongestion and road widening.