CLAIR implemented a Specialist Dispatch Project for Philippines’s Baguio City from 14 to 18 February 2022. The details of the project are stipulated as follows:
This program is designed to leverage the administrative qualities and technical capabilities of overseas local governments, and at the same time to develop the necessary human resources, as well as to strengthen friendly and cooperative ties between Japanese and overseas local governments. Although this would normally have been conducted onsite, a virtual classroom lecture format was adopted in view of the travel restrictions due to COVID-19. This is the second time that a specialist dispatch project had to be implemented online, following the inaugural one with Nakhon Phanom Provincial Administrative Organisation, Thailand, in December 2021.
Baguio City, located in the northern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines, in a mountainous area about 250 km north of the capital Manila, has developed a ‘Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan’, but the plan does not include hazard maps and other information on ‘climate and disaster risk assessment’, which will be used as reference for future preparation. The municipality requested the dispatch of an expert in the field of disaster management, and an Osaka Prefecture official specialising in disaster management was dispatched.
In this project, lectures were given to 20 officials of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bureau of Baguio City and other related agencies. Flood control measures and other measures of the Osaka Prefectural Government were introduced, including the preparation of specific hazard maps and how to use them to raise disaster awareness among residents.
Although direct onsite instruction was not possible for this project, the expert gave an interactive, concrete and practical lecture using actual flood control plans, videos and images from Osaka Prefecture, and Baguio City officials asked many specific questions related to disaster management. In particular, there were many questions relating to Osaka Prefecture’s advanced comprehensive flood control measures, and we were able to sense the high level of disaster awareness of Baguio City officials. We hope that the comprehensive flood control, hazard maps and timelines introduced in this lecture will be useful and that disaster management in Baguio City will be further developed.
CLAIR aspires to further enhance its collaborative ties with local governments in the region through the Specialist Dispatch Project.