Photo shows Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura (4 th from left), Biliran Provincial Governor Gerardo Espina, Jr. (3 rd from right), Caibiran Mayor Eulalio Maderazo (2nd from right), Brgy. Chairman Leo Insigne together with other local officials during the ribbon cutting of the recently completed flood control project in Brgy. Victory, Caibiran.
Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura attended the inauguration ceremony of “The Project for Construction of River Flood Control in the Municipality of Caibiran, Biliran,” on 19 October 2010. The project was funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects ( GGP ) with a grant of US$ 57,930 (approximately 2.7 million pesos ).
Biliran, a province in Eastern Visayas Region, has a very pronounced rainy season every year. About 19 percent of the tropical depressions that enter the country hit the province. Therefore, i n the Municipality of Caibiran, coastal barangays, specifically Barangay Victory, have always experienced flooding during the rainy season. The existing flood control wall which was constructed more than 20 years ago is no longer adequate to contain the swelling of the river. In 2008, when Typhoon Frank hit the entire Visayas Region, Barangay Victory with 3,700 residents was not spared from the destruction . A bout 72 houses were totally damaged and a lot of families ha d to flee to safer parts of the b arangay.
During typhoons, barangay roads are impassable. Residents have to walk with their feet immerse d in the flood water. Students have difficulty in going to schools and livelihood activities are disrupted. Aside from these, the residents are also infected with water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and skin diseases, which are caused by the contaminated flood water.
To ease the situation of the residents in Barangay Victory, the Embassy of Japan supported the construction of a 150-meter river flood control wall. With the grant from GGP, flooding will be prevented, and the safety of some 3,700 residents during typhoons will be ensured. It is also expected that cases of water-borne diseases in the barangay will be reduced.
Ambassador Katsura stated in his speech, “The Japanese Government, as the top donor of the ODA to the Philippines, has been supporting most of the flood control projects in the Philippines as part of our commitment to help Filipinos achieve a better quality of life and economic development .” and also stated, “ I believe that this project will further strengthen the friendship between the people of the Philippines and Japan and will also add to the fostering of strategic partnership between our two countries towards the future.”
Japan launched, as the top donor of the official development assistance, GGP in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of March 2010, 434 grassroots projects funded by GGP – ranging from roughly 1 to 4 million pesos – have been implemented by NGOs, local government units and other non-profit organizations. The total grant for these projects so far amounts to US$ 18,982,775. It is expected that this project will further enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries towards the future.
Speech of Ambassador Makoto Katsura