Ta­cloban air­port gets ₧118.5-M equip­ment from Jica

Business Mirror - - NEWS - By Cai U. Or­di­nario

THE Ja­panese govern­ment has turned over P118.5 mil­lion worth of equip­ment for the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Daniel Z. Ro­mualdez Air­port in Ta­cloban City. Res­cue ve­hi­cles, fire trucks, bag­gage x-ray in­spec­tion sys­tems and walk­through metal de­tec­tors are among the quip­ment given by the Ja­panese govern­ment.

Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (Jica) said th­ese will im­prove the air­port’s safety ca­pa­bil­i­ties and re­siliency in case of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

“Jica con­tin­ues to sup­port the Philip­pines’s re­build­ing ef­forts post- Su­per­ty­phoon Yolanda [in­ter­na­tional code name Haiyan]. We’ve rec­og­nized the im­por­tant role of air­ports in the en­tire trans­port chain. Aside from be­ing a main gate­way to a re­gion or coun­try, an air­port is also a base for emer­gency res­cue and re­lief op­er­a­tions,” Se­nior Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tet­suya Ya­mada said.

“With this, we hope that the new air­port equip­ment will help move for­ward the build-back bet­ter strate­gies of the Philip­pines for Yolanda re­cov­ery,” Ya­mada added.

The equip­ment as­sis­tance is a com­po­nent of the Ja­panese aid agency’s P2.3-bil­lion grant in aid pro­gram for projects de­signed for the coun­try’s re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­cov­ery from Yolanda.

The grant also in­cludes re­build­ing schools, med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties and govern­ment of­fices. Un­der this as­sis­tance, Jica will also pro­vided equip­ment to Na­tional Mar­itime Polytechnic, as well as to me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal radar sta­tions and elec­tric co­op­er­a­tives.

“Ja­pan’s ex­pe­ri­ence with the Great East Ja­pan Earth­quake and Tsunami in 2011, which dam­aged our Sendai Air­port, showed us that clear­ing and restora­tion works in calamity-af­fected air­ports must be done as soon as pos­si­ble,” Ya­mada added. “With­out early re­sump­tion of air­port op­er­a­tions, trans­port­ing crit­i­cal goods and ser­vices will be de­layed.”

Jica said the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (DOTC) and Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity of the Philip­pines (Caap) sought its as­sis­tance to im­prove the re­siliency of the Ta­cloban air­port. Aside from the Ta­cloban air­port, Jica is also work­ing with DOTC and Caap in a pro­ject for new Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Nav­i­ga­tion, and Sur­veil­lance-Air Traf­fic Man­age­ment (CNS-ATM) sys­tems de­vel­op­ment.

The pro­ject will help in­stall new satel­lite-based sys­tems in se­lected sites na­tion­wide to en­hance air traf­fic safety, re­duce flight de­lays, and im­prove air space ef­fi­ciency.

The CNS-ATM pro­ject has been iden­ti­fied by the Na­tional Eco­nomic and De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (Neda) in its 2014 Of­fi­cial De­vel­op­ment As­sis­tance (ODA) Port­fo­lio Re­view as one of the “prob­lem­atic” ODA projects.

How­ever, there has al­ready been some im­prove­ment as the Neda has said the pro­ject posted a de­crease in back­log of $205.62 to $30.71 mil­lion in Cal­en­dar Year 2013 from $236.33 mil­lion in CY 2012.

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