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Puert Princesa - Public and private sector leaders of Puerto Princesa City committed to help propel the city’s inclusive and resilient economic growth as they joined the Stakeholders Forum on February 23 at Sienatel Training Hotel, organized by the U.S. embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Stakeholders Forum, a multi-sectorial mix of national agency, local government, business, and civil society leaders from Puerto Princesa City, will serve as a mechanism to identify, prioritize and lead the implementation of USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with the Equity (SURGE) Project.

 

            USAID Philippines Chief for the Office Economic Developmet and Governance Daniel Miller, and Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron, together with more than 100 representatives from the city government, business sector, academe and civil society organizations participated in the forum.

 

            “Through the years, USAID has worked with the local government and other stakeholders to help the city and the province bring more economic opportunities to communities, improve roads and access to

power, improve air quality, and better educate the youth.” said Daniel Miller.

 

            “The U.S. Government will build on milestones and lessons learned from current and past USAID projects to help Puerto Princesa plan better, create more competitive business environments, and link urban and rural centers so that more citizens benefit from rapid economic activity,” he added. The result of the project’s rapid assessment and opportunities for the development of Puerto Princesa

were discussed, as well as current and future scenarios to give context in identifying strategic development projects the city can pursue in the next five to fifteen years.

 

            The SURGE Project supports second-tier cities like Puerto Princesa City to become economically

thriving and resilient growth centers outside the urban core of Manila, with increased levels of  investment, employment, and disaster risk preparedness for both the city and adjacent rural areas.

 

            Now on its first year, the project will assist Puerto Princesa City in improving urban development and planning, promoting low-emission local economic development, facilitating greater connectivity and

access between urban and rural areas, and promoting social inclusion.

 

            SURGE is the flagship activity of USAID’s Citis Development Initiative, an integral part of the US-Philippines’ Partnership for Growth where Puerto Princesa is one of its current 6 cities. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA), a global organization composed of almost 9,000 city, town and county managers who work to professionalize local government management around the world, is the main implementing partner for SURGE.

 

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