Ph, Jap join hands to promote disaster-resilient ports

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), in cooperation with the Japan Overseas Port Cooperation Association (JOPCA), held the second Ph-Jap Port Seminar for Disaster Prevention at the Manila Diamond Hotel on February 3, 2016.

The whole-day event, which also attracted several partner-agencies like the Department of Transportation and Communications, MLIT, OCDI, SCOPE, WAVE and CDIT and supported by JICA, was attended by close to 120 stakeholders—a combination of Japanese and Filipino delegates from the different participating agencies.

JOPCA President Mr. Tatsuhiko Ikeda opened the event highlighting the accomplishments of JOPCA in the areas of crisis management and disaster prevention while PPA Officer-In-Charge Raul T. Santos welcomed the guests and participants.

In his welcome address, Mr. Santos said that it was with great honor for the PPA to co-organize the event stressing that the PPA has a soft spot for Japanese non-government agencies being the recipient of numerous grants from Japan for technical studies or for the development of the Philippines’ gateway ports and other maritime-related developments.

JICA country representative Noriaki Niwa, on the other hand, enumerated the different projects that JICA has undertaken for the past couple of years with the Philippine government. He stressed that ports are essential to the entire supply chain that they need to be developed to facilitate transportation in the country and boost economic activity.

Niwa also emphasized on the need of the Philippines to design disaster resilient ports in light of the 7.3 magnitude Bohol earthquake in October of 2013 and the devastation of Cyclone Haiyan in November of the same year.

Niwa also asked the participants to take advantage of the seminar to enhance their knowledge on port disaster prevention.

The other highlights of the opening ceremony were the Nomination of Representative of JICA Alumni Association for Port Sector, Philippines and the presentation of the Standard Specifications for Port and Harbor Works 2013 by SCOPE.

With the climate change really affecting the globe’s atmosphere, it is already high-time for the country to adopt or make ports disaster-resilient.

The cost will be relative but its long-term effect to the country will be much improved, as we will quickly recover from any devastating effect of disasters, which we cannot do with the current state of Philippine ports.

With the new administration set to come in, hopefully it will look into the possibility of developing disaster resilient ports.