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Iloilo Seeks UN Help To Build Resilient Communities

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Iloilo Seeks UN Help To Build Resilient Communities

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The Iloilo provincial government is hoping the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) and partner corporations could help the province build resilient communities through the “Purok Resilience” project.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said the project is a socialized barangay-based housing program that responds to the challenges brought about by climate change.

“In this program, we want to transfer residents from the danger zones, landslide-prone areas, flood-prone areas, along the rivers to a socialized barangay-based relocation site,” Defensor said.

He presented the initiative during the 14th UN-Habitat Environmental Technology Expert Group Meeting (EGM) in Fukuoka along with a learning visit to the Kitakyushu Eco-Town Model in Kitakyushu, all in Japan from Sept. 11-13, 2023.

Defensor said UN-Habitat welcomed the project and has vowed to support it.

The support is not much on the funding side but through corporate social responsibility that will be anchored through the UN-Habitat partner firms.

“The UN-Habitat likes this project, and they are helping us with that. They will provide us with technical support and science, and they can possibly help us with funding there because they have projects like that before,” he said.

“Purok Resilience is not just about building houses. It is about establishing communities,” he said, adding that the initial project will be in Batad town.

He said the town usually evacuates over 30 households during heavy rains.

Meanwhile, EGM aims to promote Sustainable Urban Development in Asia and the Pacific through regional technical cooperation with Japan and connect cities and communities in Asia and the Pacific with relevant Japanese environmental expertise and technology.

The event brought together government officials from Asia-Pacific partner cities, where during the two-day meeting in Fukuoka, they discussed current status, needs, and specific issues related to urban climate adaptation and climate action in cities and local government units (LGUs).

Joining Defensor during the trip was Provincial Planning and Development Office chief Mario Nillos. (PNA)