Japanese agency to prepare hazard map

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

EXPERTS from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) are crafting a detailed topographic map that will highlight disaster-prone areas in Metro Cebu.

The map will help local officials prepare for and manage disasters and calamities.

Jica experts are also observing how the 13 local government units (LGUs) in Metro Cebu are managing their solid waste, one of the seven sub-roadmaps that the Japanese agency is preparing to help realize the Mega Cebu Vision 2050.


Citing the best practices of the City of Naga and Consolacion town in waste segregation, Jica’s technical experts said the two LGUs will serve as a model for other localities in solid waste management.

In a press conference yesterday, Sakai Yuko of the Jica team of experts said they have visited all 13 LGUs since November and are now collecting information on disaster planning.


“We are clarifying the problems in the LGUs, then we will make a topographic map to identify the geo-hazards in detail,” said Yuko, who is in charge of the disaster management planning.

Government agencies are now focusing on helping LGUs plan for and manage disasters following the devastation caused by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in October and typhoon Yolanda in November last year.

Yuko said they hope to empower LGUs by crafting a disaster management plan that officials can refer to when calamities strike.

“LGUs need to have a plan for disaster management, but it’s not in place yet in some areas. We have to collect all data from LGUs. They say they have plans but we have not seen them. I want to identify hazardous areas and include it in the map,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

Jica consultants presented updates of the “Study on Metro Cebu Sustainable Urban Development Roadmap” to stakeholders during a press conference at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) building yesterday.


Rene Santiago, one of the 19 Jica consultants who are working on the roadmap, said that they are still in the data-gathering stage in all the studies.

“We are now also looking at the data that the government agencies already have and initiatives that are already there. For example, with solid waste, they found out that Naga and Consolacion are doing very well with segregation so that should be a model.

But beyond segregation, we have to consider how do you process these wastes. That’s being looked into,” he said after the press conference.

In partnership with the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB), Jica is providing technical assistance to undertake studies on metropolitan competitiveness enhancement; urban structure and land use; urban transport and highway network; water supply; solid waste management and disposal; smart SRP (South Road Project) development; and metropolitan administration.

The Mega Cebu Vision 2050 and related studies covers the cities of Cebu, Carcar, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga and Talisay and the municipalities of Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla and San Fernando. Results of the studies will be released on March 2015.

During the press conference yesterday, Breta Consulting Corp. also presented their progress with the Household Interview Survey (HIS), which will be used to craft the comprehensive urban development plans for Metro Cebu.


Members of 6,527 households in Metro Cebu that were randomly selected will be asked for their opinion on existing living conditions and public services.

It will also cover the socio-economic characteristics of the household and their personal trip behavior.

But yesterday, stakeholders pointed out flaws in the way the survey is being conducted, which, they said, could affect the conclusion that planners will draw from the results.

Part of the survey gets the opinion of the head of the household on the preparation for natural disasters, water supply, sewage and drainage system, electricity supply, solid waste collection, traffic congestion and public transport and governance.

Stakeholders suggested getting the opinion of the younger members of the household who may have a wider perspective of their living conditions than the heads of the households, some of whom may be confined to the rural areas.

“After all, the plans we are making for Mega Cebu are for the younger generation. They are the ones who will benefit from this,” said Dominica Chua, chief operating officer of Rafi, the secretariat for Mega Cebu.

Nicole Gamo, director for projects of Breta Consulting, said she will suggest to Jica to change the questionnaires to address the stakeholders' concerns.

Breta Consulting is conducting the survey for Jica.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 12, 2014.

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