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As part of its continuing assistance on water and sanitation, USAID is assisting Cities Development Initiative (CDI) partner cities of General Santos, Puerto Princesa, and Tagbilaran in developing their Broad Water Demand Management (WDM) Agenda to address the gap between available supply and the increasing water demand. On June 4, 8, and 11, 2021, USAID hosted a series of sectoral orientation webinars on water demand management to key sectors who can influence the efficient use of water.

As part of an ongoing assistance to enhance the capacities of Cities Development Initiative (CDI) partner cities in social marketing, digital marketing, and promotion, USAID hosted a coaching session on social marketing for septage management on June 8 to 9, 2021 for representatives of the Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) and the local government of Puerto Princesa City.

Around 70 participants belonging to the food industries in the CDI partner cities of Tagbilaran, Puerto Princesa, Legazpi, Batangas, and Iloilo, and the provinces of Bohol, Palawan and Albay attended the session. (Right photo) Mr. Jamil Hamza A.T. Olermo, Founder of the Halal Resource Center, talked about Halal concepts and practices.

To help strengthen local women business service centers in Cities Development Initiative (CDI) cities, USAID hosted the “3rd Community of Practice for Women Business Support Service Centers” on June 1, 2021. Around 93 representatives from local business support service centers, local partner agencies, and MSMEs from the CDI cities gained more knowledge on the important strategies and action plans in establishing a localized market and resource portals that cater to the needs of women entrepreneurs and other MSMEs. Mr.

Stakeholders from major tourism cities such as Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Legazpi, Tagbilaran, and Puerto Princesa advocated for concessional financing packages and more government support through an online roundtable discussion organized by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project on April 8, 2020. More than 20 private sector representatives operating tourism-related businesses such as hotels, restaurants, resorts, theme parks, travel and tour agencies, transport services and local tourism councils participated in the virtual consultative session.

More than 30 communication officers from the local governments and water districts of Cities Development Initiative (CDI) cities of Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran, Zamboanga and the province of Bohol gained more knowledge to strengthen emergency or crisis content creation and management through a virtual workshop organized by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project on April 7, 2020.

Protecting the Tourism Industry

Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron | April 8, 2020


The challenge is to offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the tourism industry and to mitigate the spread of the virus in Puerto Princesa City.  Tourism is the major economic driver of the city. It has generated more than PhP5.45 billion worth of revenues in 2019, with 1.2 million tourist arrivals and more than 2,100 MICE events. However, these figures dropped by 80 percent in the first quarter of 2020.


Twenty-eight (28) community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) associations in Puerto Princesa City developed sustainability and operational plans for 2020-2021 after participating in a workshop on business planning organized by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project in collaboration with the Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office on November 28 to 29, 2019.

Around 200 tourism stakeholders from tourism establishments, community-based sustainable tourism associations, academe, environment and conservation advocacy groups, and non-government organizations in Puerto Princesa City gained deeper understanding and formulated policy recommendations for nature-based tourism and biodiversity during a forum on November 7, 2019. The forum was organized by the Puerto Princesa City government, the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Partners Foundation, and supported by USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project.

On November 8, 2019, the Puerto Princesa-Palawan Seaweed Network in Puerto Princesa City received PhP3.4 million-worth of loans from the Landbank of the Philippines. The loans will help the expansion of production of four seaweed associations in barangays Manalo, Luzviminda, and Babuyan to address the demand of seaweed from four supply agreements with several buyers and processors.