USAID/SURGE Project

USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project assists Puerto Princesa City’s Septage Management Committee and Technical Working Group in conducting household surveys, providing capacity building through septage management learning visits, and updating the water district’s septage feasibility study. On September 16 to 17, 2019, around 30 representatives from various offices of the city government and the water district participated in a social marketing training conducted by USAID/SURGE.

The city government of Puerto Princesa highlighted seaweed production and processing as among the city's priority investment areas during the Puerto Princesa Investment Forum held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on September 25, 2019. Mr. Maximo Ricohermoso, founding chairman of the Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP), presented the advantages of Puerto Princesa as a suitable location for seaweed growing and value-added processing.

The Puerto Princesa City government generated a total of PhP27.5 billion worth of investments during the city’s first major business forum with theme “Puerto Princesa: Your Investment. Our commitment.” held on September 25, 2019 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City.

On August 26 to 28, 2019, the Puerto Princesa City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) held its i-Tree inventory of tourism establishments to determine the ecosystem services that their areas provide. Ecosystem services are the benefits humans gain from the natural environment. By doing an eco-inventory assessment, city stakeholders can be more strategic and effective in resource management. Ms. Claire Bea, U.S. Foreign Service Officer, witnessed the process of conducting the i-Tree inventory. Atty.

On August 20, 2019, the Puerto Princesa City government developed four business plans for the city’s local economic enterprises, namely the City Coliseum Management, Baywalk Management, Transport Terminal, and Fish Port. This was a follow-through activity of the series of trainings on domestic resource mobilization for enterprise development organized by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project. The business plans featured enterprise operations in terms of growth, revenue share and profitability. Prior to the business planning activity, Ms.

On August 6 to 7, 2019, the Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office and USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project held a workshop on strengthening heritage, culture, and arts for tourism promotion. Fifty-eight (58) participants from the Puerto Princesa City and Palawan provincial governments, barangays, and the private sector underwent a process which employs storytelling and meaning-making to look into the significance of various heritage sites.

USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project organized a learning visit for Legazpi City to Puerto Princesa City on June 18 to 20, 2019, as part of its ongoing technical assistance to finalize Legazpi City’s tourism code. The activity facilitated learning between the two cities revolving around Puerto Princesa’s strategic tourism plan, enabling laws and policies, management of five community-based sustainable tourism destinations, and Legazpi City’s tourism development master plan and processes involved in tourism code formulation.

Two-hundred (200) seaweed growers from Puerto Princesa City and Palawan Province participated in the 2nd Palawan Seaweed Industry Summit on May 9 to10, 2019 in Puerto Princesa City. The summit was jointly organized by the Puerto Princesa Seaweed Network, the Puerto Princesa City Government, and USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project. The summit sought to strengthen access of seaweed growers to more lucrative markets and modern production and processing technologies.

The city government of Puerto Princesa held an Investment Forum on March 28, 2019. Around 100 representatives from business groups, national government agencies, and the city government participated in the event. USAID Deputy Mission Director Patrick Wesner attended the event, and in his speech highlighted the private sector’s and civil society organizations’ participation in the development of an investment road map for the city to ensure inclusivity, accountability and sustainability of interventions.

The Puerto Princesa City Government is set to transfer 33 previously private-owned real property units to its own name and increase the city’s revenue/investment base by PhP50 million. This move is a result of the Asset Management Technical Working Group’s (TWG) meeting with the Bureau of Internal Revenue Officer, Commission on Audit Provincial Director and Registry of Deeds personnel on March 11, 2019. The TWG and involved agencies settled concerns related to procedures and payments of real property taxes and fees.

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