Printer-friendly version

Volunteer experts of U.S.-based International City/County Association (ICMA) visited the Philippines early this year to share international good practices and experiences with local governments of eight cities in the Philippines.

Construction permitting specialist James Nichols mentored five city governments, namely Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa and Tagbilaran, in developing a more efficient system for construction permitting and issuance of certificates of occupancy to promote ease of doing business. Ronald Rabun developed a revenue management manual based on his consultations with the cities of General Santos, Puerto Princesa and Tagbilaran. Meanwhile, Samuel Misenheimer helped local experts facilitate workshops on asset management for the five cities, as well as for the cities of Batangas, Legazpi and Zamboanga.

The three volunteers supported the activities of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project. The eight cities are partners of USAID under the Cities Development Initiative. With the assistance of the project, the cities gained a more in-depth understanding of the principles of streamlining construction permitting and asset management, and are now implementing action plans to improve systems and revenue generation practices. With asset management, the cities aim to increase total revenue by at least 20 percent in 2019.

The SURGE Project, now on its third year, assists the eight cities and adjacent localities in planning effectively, guaranteeing basic public services, reducing business transaction costs, promoting competitiveness, and supporting development while ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth. ICMA, a global organization composed of 11,000 city, town and county managers who work to professionalize local government management around the world, is USAID’s main implementing partner for the SURGE Project.