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Bicol River Basin gets boost



The Bicol River, or the Bicol River Basin — the eight largest river in the Philippines in terms of drainage basin size with an estimated catchment area of 3,770 square kilometers – gets a big boost from Japan as it kicked off the Rehabilitation of Equipment for the Project to strengthen Flood Forecasting and Warning System for the river basin recently at Pili in Camarines Sur.

The project – which is under Japan’s Non-Project Grant Aid – was inaugurated in 29 April, 2019, with no less than Minister Makoto Iyori of the Embassy of Japan, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña and Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Luis Villafuerte gracing the event.

It aims to strengthen the Bicol region’s flood forecasting and warning system, reaffirming Japan’s commitment to support the Philippine government’s efforts in building a disaster-resistant society. It is expected to further reinforce the strategic partnership between the two countries as well as consolidating the bonds of friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines.

Local government and DoST officials inspect the new equipment and the rehabilitation plans for the Bicol River Basin.

Through this project, the Government of Japan restored the existing observation facilities and communication equipment related to flood forecasting and warnings in the Bicol river basin of Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and also repair the program and software of the central monitoring system that monitors and controls these facilities and equipment with the goal of addressing flood damage, which frequently occurs in the Bicol region of due to the worsening of climate change.

The Bicol River is bounded on the northeast by the Bicol Cordillera, which consists of a chain of volcanic mountains including Mount Iriga, Mount Malinao, Mount Masaraga and Mount Mayon.

On the southwestern side lie the Ragay Hills, which consist of folded and faulted sedimentary formations including limestones, siltstones, conglomerates and shale, and between these higher areas lie the Bicol plain, which is composed of thick alluvial deposits of sand silt and clay.