Japan to fund river dike in Oro

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Friday, March 14, 2014


IN ORDER to avoid a repeat of the disaster brought by Tropical Storm Sendong in December 2011 in Cagayan de Oro City, Mayor Oscar Moreno’s administration with the Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), agreed to construct retaining walls or dike on both sides of the Cagayan de Oro River.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said that final stages for the details of the dike construction is already with the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) and that before the end of this month, it would be submitted to the like the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the final engineering works.

On Thursday, Moreno received Akio Isomata, Japan’s Minister for Economic Affairs, to his office for a courtesy call.

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The mayor is hoping that this major infrastructure, part of the Flood Risk Management Project for the city’s river, would be implemented soonest.

The materialization of the dike is a campaign promise fulfilled for a “No more Sendong” of Moreno.

The Japanese government’s response was enormous after Sendong devastated the city on December 17, 2011 when the Cagayan de Oro River overflowed and inundated the communities along river banks where more than a thousand people died and millions worth of properties were lost.

$2-M grant

Isomata said that Japan’s help for the flood victims is still pouring in, citing close to a billion yen and US$2 million have already been spent for the reconstruction of the lives of the victims and their houses, including assistance for livelihood.

“We will continue to assist the victims for we, in Japan, have also suffered disasters and we know how it is to be a victim of calamities,” Isomata said.

The planned 12-kilometer retaining walls -- from upriver at the Taguanao bridge to the mouth of the river in Barangay Macabalan -- is estimated to cost about ¥8.7 billion or almost a billion pesos.

Isomata said his government is pleased with the way the Philippines is spending Jica money, alluding to the successful implementation of projects, in particular the Japanese funds that were allocated to the Sendong survivors.

Isomata, during the courtesy call meeting, praised Moreno for being a model local chief executive and whose administration practices good governance.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 15, 2014.

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