MinDA, Korean university sign MOU for Safe Cities

Mar 18, 2015

by Cheng Ordonez, Associate Editor & Mike Baños, Editor-at-Large


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SEOULTECH) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, Tuesday (March 17), both pledging support initiatives geared toward urban planning with highlights on climate-proof development, at Koresco Hotel, here.

Dr. Park Byonggu, director, Office of External Affairs and Cooperation of Seoul National University of Science and Technology based in Nowon-gu, Seoul, South Korea and Mindanao Development Authority Chair Luwalhati Antonino exchange signed copies of a Memorandum of Understanding pledging support for a pilot study on Safe Cities in the Philippines through the Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SEOULTECH) and the University of the Philippines (UP-Diliman) with funding support from the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Photo by Mike Banos, NPN

Signatories to the MOU were Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of MinDA, and Dr. Park Byung Gyu, director, Office of External Affairs and Cooperation of Seoul National University of Science and Technology based in Nowon-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Sec. Antonino pledged to support the initiatives of  SEOULTECH, funded through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), on the conduct of a disaster-resilience pilot study and preparation of climate-proof urban plan for the Province of Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and nearby areas.

SEOULTECH, a Korean-based university renowned for its engineering, science and technology programs, reciprocally pledged support for MinDA’s initiatives in line with the goals and strategies laid down in the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan for 2010 to 2030, specifically on the program known as “MindaNOW: Nurturing Our Waters Program.”

SEOULTECH also committed to become MinDA’s active and dynamic partner especially for activities aimed for the peace and development of Mindanao and is expected to take part in other related activities and projects.

Dr. Park signed the agreement to also take the lead in the implementation of the KOICA-funded project dubbed “Minimizing Natural Disaster Method to Climate Change: Search for Sustainable Development.”

The project intends to develop a water-management plan for Misamis Oriental province, Cagayan de Oro City and other neighboring cities in Northern Mindanao. It will also assist cities to generate power through dam construction, and develop a long-term strategic/urban plan for the target city/area beneficiaries.

The MOU signing coincided with the launching Tuesday of SEOULTECH and University of the Philippines-Diliman (U.P. Diliman) of a project dubbed  “Urban Renewal Planning for Natural Disaster Prevention Responding to Climate Change.”


Dr. Park Byung Gyu (left)director, Office of External Affairs and Cooperation of Seoul National University of Science and Technology and Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of MinDA sign a Memorandum of Understanding for a pilot study on developing Safe Cities in the Philippines, March 17 at Koresco Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. (photo by Mike Baños, NPN)

The project is an academic partnership program supported by the Korea International Cooperation Agency(KOICA) in partnership with SEOULTECH and U.P. Diliman.

“The project aims to strengthen the Philippine’s capacity for research in Disaster Risk Mitigation and Management, as well as serve as a foundation for the establishment of Safe Cities in the country,” said Dr. Park.

“Its objectives include cooperating to guide a comprehensive regional development plan; analyzing major disasters brought by climate change; developing a disaster risk reduction and management plan; push urban renewal initiatives which can be integrated into Northern Mindanao, which now lies in the path of typhoons, through a pilot model that can be easily adapted and replicated by other regions.”

The project aims to conduct disaster mitigation research, per request of MinDA, on three levels: Macro Study for efficient regional development study, Micro Study for Climate Change Disaster Risk Reduction and Management of Mindanao, and Pilot Study of regional plan that can be adapted by other regions.

The expected outputs of the study include: A practical road map leading to the attainment of the Vision for Mindanao; integration of climate change projections in disaster risk reduction and management plans; extensive application of development planning research; capacity building for research and planning of partner institutions; and strengthened diplomatic ties between Korea and the Philippines.

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