Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko on Thursday led the inauguration of the Imus Retarding Basin, a project designed to protect low-lying areas in Cavite against flooding.
Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla were among the Philippine officials who joined Koshikawa in the inauguration rites.
During the ceremony, the Japanese envoy emphasized that the proper operation and maintenance of this first retarding basin in Cavite will serve as “key in demonstrating its full capability in the long run.”
He later urged local personnel to work together “to make every Caviteño feel safer and more protected from typhoons and flooding.”
Financed through Japan’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), the Imus Retarding Basin includes an 84-meter overflow dike standing at an average of three meters in height with 1.3 kilometers of the surrounding dike and 1.1 kilometers of separating dike.
The DPWH excavated approximately two million cubic meters of soil to unearth seven meters in depth in the 35-hectare land area for the retarding basin.
In a media handout provided by the Embassy of Japan, it explained that retarding basins are being constructed to temporarily store most, if not all, of the rainwater run-off during very high rainfall, to absorb and contain flooding in periods of high rain and later release at a regulated flow rate.
Based on a flood management master plan for Imus River prepared by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the project also includes another retarding basin in the adjacent city of Bacoor that will be completed before the year-end.
Similar Japan-funded flood mitigation projects were also completed at the Cagayan River Basin in North Luzon and Tagoloan River Basin in Misamis Oriental, in support of the Philippines’ disaster preparedness initiatives.
The DPWH, in an earlier statement, expressed optimism that the construction of retarding basins will make flood hazard areas in Cavite more resilient during the rainy season and swift changes in global weather.
Villar is confident that the Flood Risk Management Project for Imus River is the most viable solution to mitigate damage on areas vulnerable to flooding in Imus and Bacoor.
“We have high hopes that this project will reduce flood risk to local homes and businesses,” Villar said in a statement posted on the Department’s website.