USAID/SURGE Project

The Technical Working Group (TWG) on Climate Disaster Risk Assessment of Puerto Princesa City gained additional knowledge and skills in assessing climate and disaster risks, and in mainstreaming resilient development in land use planning after participating in a technical workshop on February 20 to 22, 2019. The workshop was facilitated by a team composed of resource persons from the Policy Development Group and Region 4B of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project.

The Puerto Princesa City Government, headed by the City Tourism Office and City Tourism Council, successfully held the 2019 Puerto Princesa Tourism Stakeholders Forum on February 1, 2019 at the City Coliseum in Puerto Princesa City. As part of the city government's efforts to strengthen accountable and transparent local governance in tourism, the forum gathered 400 local industry tourism stakeholders comprising of representatives from hotels, resorts, restaurants, transportation providers, tour operators, travel agencies, boat operators, souvenir shops and community-based tourism sites.

The Puerto Princesa City Government recorded PhP197 million worth of business tax collections for this year’s January business registration period. This is a 17 percent increase from last year’s PhP186 million worth of business tax collections. With the technical assistance of USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project in streamlining the city’s business permits and licensing system, the city government has demonstrated a steady increase in revenues and improved services for the past two years.

On December 13, 2018, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron institutionalized through an Executive Order (EO) the regular inter-agency coordination meetings among relevant government agencies and local tourism industry stakeholders to strengthen local tourism governance. The EO formally constitutes the Tourism Sector Inter-Agency Coordination Committee comprising of national government agencies providing support to the local tourism industry. The EO also mandates the regular conduct of inter-agency meetings to discuss issues and concerns of the local tourism sector.

On December 14, 2018, the Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office (CTO) organized the first-ever Community-based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) Convention attended by more than 300 representatives from 28 CBST groups and barangays. In one of its sessions, USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Tourism Specialist Dr. Randi Alampay gave a presentation about the basic principles on sustainable destination management for CBSTs, with specific case studies on successfully-managed CBST sites in Cebu and Bohol.

On November 21, 2018, the Puerto Princesa City’s City Health Office organized the Sanitation Expo 2018 to celebrate the city’s efforts in barangays toward Zero Open Defecation (ZOD). Twenty-four (24) barangays covering 9,064 households or 38,784 individuals have been declared as ZOD areas, which exhibited behavior change and engagement in the process of decision-making for better sanitation practices in collaboration with Sea Oil Foundation and Single Drop for Consultancy Services.

On November 28 and December 11, 2018, Puerto the Princesa City Business One Stop Shop Technical Working Group (TWG) met to prepare for next year’s business registration process. USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project provided information on the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Ease of Doing Business Law or Republic Act 11032.

On December 7, 2018, Puerto Princesa City government’s Asset Management Team conducted a year-end assessment and planning activity to highlight accomplishments and challenges as basis for setting goals for 2019. The team was able to review the city’s real property portfolio to determine what assets to develop and what to dispose. With the help of the new land information system, the team was able to integrate land details and value with building footprints, roads, vulnerable areas, and land classification.

The Puerto Princesa and Palawan Seaweed Network held its year-end organizational planning meeting on November 29, 2018 to discuss the group’s key accomplishments and planned activities for next year.

On November 29, 2018, the Puerto Princesa and Palawan Seaweed Network and the City Agricultural Office of Puerto Princesa, with technical support from USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project, conducted a training on good manufacturing practices in seaweed production. Local growers from 11 barangays in Puerto Princesa City learned techniques to improve post-harvest processing practices so that they can meet consumer and export market requirements.

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