Sara Duterte returns to Japan for urban planning lessons
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has gone on a week-long trip to Japan with other city officials for a series of lessons on urban planning.
Duterte-Carpio and other Davao City officials will be in Japan from April 15 to 21 for an official trip upon the invitation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
"This is a continued cooperation with JICA and the Japanese government, particularly to implement the infrastructure masterplan for Davao," Duterte-Carpio said in a statement on Tuesday, April 16.
The officials, including Councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta and representatives from the City Engineer's Office, City Planning Office, and the Land Transportation Office, would be given lectures on the following topics:
- Tokyo urban planning
- Suburban area science city planning
- Murasaki River pollution prevention
- Kitakyushu environmental and international strategy
Duterte-Carpio said itinerary includes visits to the Tokyo Traffic Control Center, Ochiai Sewage Plant, Railway Transit Oriented Development, Moji Port Tourism Development, Murasalo River, "and other sites to experience Japan's infrastructure development first-hand."
Davao City officials have been going in and out of Japan for the past few years through the local government's partnership with JICA and other parties.
Urban planning has been on top of the local government's concerns due to its growing population as well as climate change.
In 2015, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Davao City’s population reached 1.6 million, or a third of the 4.89 million population of Davao Region.
This puts pressure on public transportation, which the city wants to improve through a project with the Asian Development Bank.
Occasional heavy rain has also affected the city's traffic, as what happened last year, when heavy rain caused a "minor" landslide that led to a monstrous traffic buildup on its major thoroughfares for days.
The city also faced problems with its sanitary landfill in New Carmen, Tugbok district, when the Environment Management Bureau reported that the site had been leaking liquid waste to its water sources.
Last year, Duterte-Carpio went to the Kitakyushu City in Fukuoka prefecture to study a waste-to-energy project that Davao City wants to copy.
A different delegation from the city also flew to Osaka last year, and secured the commitment of Japanese officials and businessmen to promote Davao City.
Among Davao City's projects with Japan is the biodiesel fuel plant in Maa. The factory produces fuel from used cooking oil sourced from different barangays.
Japan's ties with Davao City dates back to the early 1900s, when Japanese workers were brought to the city to work in its plantations. Before World War II, there were over 11,000 Japanese who lived in Davao City. – Rappler.com