Japan gifts Yolanda-stricken town in Samar with new municipal hall

Can you say, arigato tamodachi?

The Government of Japan has turned over the Lawaan Municipal Hall to the Philippine government in a ceremony held on February 22, 2018 in Lawaan City, Eastern Samar.

The Lawaan Municipal Hall is one of the projects under the Japan-funded “Program for the Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda.”

Attending the ceremony were Second Secretary Shintaro Ichiki of the Embassy of Japan, Lawaan Municipal Mayor Florencio Almeda and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director Marivel Sacendoncillo.

The representatives of prospective beneficiaries in Lawaan expressed their deepest appreciation to the Japanese Government during the simple rites.

The Lawaan Municipal Hall, which was severely damaged by Typhoon Yolanda (also known as Typhoon Haiyan outside the Philippines) in November 2013, was rebuilt to enable the delivery of administrative service for the people in the region.

Yolanda at that time was the strongest typhoon ever recorded, killing at least 7,000 and leaving millions worth of damages in its wake.

A total of $4.55 million was provided for the project from the Government of Japan. The Lawaan Municipal Hall is expected to strengthen the functions of evacuation centers in the area and improve administrative services, contributing to overcoming vulnerability and stabilizing the living and production base.

The Program for the Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda provides assistance for recovery and reconstruction in areas affected by the disaster.

The program focuses on social infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, schools and local government offices; economic infrastructure such as airport, common industrial facilities and power facilities; and disaster preparedness infrastructure such as meteorological radar systems.

Through this Program, the Japanese government helps the Philippines build a resilient society against natural disasters and achieve sustainable growth.

Japan, as the top Official Development Assistance (ODA) donor to the Philippines as well as a disaster-prone country itself, has supported the Philippines’ disaster mitigation efforts by sharing its experiences and lessons learned from past natural disasters.

With its policy of “Build Back Better,” the program is expected to further foster the strategic partnership between the two countries and serve as a model for other disaster-prone areas of the Philippines.

Kathy Kenny


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