On 20 and 22 October 2020, J.CLAIR Singapore gave presentations by Japanese local government staff at an online seminar hosted by the Philippine Local Government Academy (LGA), a government agency that provides training to local governments in the Philippines. This seminar was carried out over the month of October, and dealt with various fields of local administration. CLAIR dispatched Japanese local government officials as lecturers to a session on disaster prevention on the 20th and a session on tourism on the 22nd.
For this seminar, we invited the staff of three local governments in Japan to give presentations on advanced case studies from each local government, taking into account the current situation in the Philippines.
The Philippines is a country where many natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, and volcanic eruptions are likely to occur due to geographical conditions. Therefore, local governments are required to prepare for disasters and establish disaster management systems.
During the session on the theme of “Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Management Towards Good Local Governance” held on 20 October, Fukuoka Prefecture staff gave a presentation on “Fukuoka Prefectural Government’s Response and Role in Times of Disaster”.
Tourism is also an important and major factor in the Philippine national economy. The number of foreign tourists reached a record high of 8.26 million in 2019, and the increase in the number of tourists from home and abroad is promoting the development of the region. However, the worldwide spread of COVID 19 is currently having a tremendous impact on tourism in the Philippines.
For the session titled “Converting Adversity to Opportunity: Rejuvenating Local Economy Through Tourism Development” held on 22 October, Hokkaido staff introduced the tourism policies implemented after the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake and the support measures for the tourism industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the staff of Kesennuma Development Growth Strategy shared the city’s efforts to develop the tourism industry as a second core industry in addition to its main industry of fishery after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The seminar was held online through Zoom Meeting and Facebook Live, and a total of about 3,900 participants from local governments throughout the Philippines registered for both days. It was very heartening to see many appreciative comments from the participants in the chat box. In addition, many questions were asked, indicating a high level of interest from the participants.
This seminar was the first online seminar held by J.CLAIR Singapore in
collaboration with an overseas counterpart organization, but it demonstrated that online seminars can be a viable option for future projects. As compared to conventional offline seminars, we were able to reach a wide audience without the speakers having to travel aboard. J.CLAIR Singapore will continue to support exchanges and cooperation between local governments in both the Philippines and Japan.