Cities Development Initiative Newsletter

Cagayan de Oro advances with PPP

Cagayan de Oro City, a regional growth hub in Northern Mindanao, moves ahead with its flourishing Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives that contribute to increased revenues and more jobs in the city. PPP, a cooperative arrangement between the public and private sectors that involves long-term contracts for government projects or services, has been a favored approach of the City Government in accessing private finance.

To date, the city has about PhP599 million worth of infrastructure projects completed through the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme, which include public markets, bus and jeepney terminals and a slaughterhouse.

With the support of USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project, the partnership between the City Government and the private sector has been taken to the next level with the creation of the PPP Subcommittee in the City’s Local Development Council, through an executive order signed by City Mayor Oscar Moreno in November 2016.

The PPP Subcommittee is tasked to identify priority projects that may be financed and constructed, monitor activities to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, and formulate a PPP Code.

According to Local Economic and Investment Promotions Officer Eileen SanJuan, “we have already identified projects to pursue such as the septage facility and the Oro Central, a school-cum-evacuation center.”

Oro Central is the re-imagination of a fire-damaged public school building in Cagayan de Oro’s business district. City Government offices and local professionals collaborated with the academe sector to dream up the 4.8-hectare project, which combines state-of-the-art design with resource conservation, renewable energy consumption and generation as well as environment preservation, while maintaining commercial viability and operational sustainability.

The PhP1 billion project is also envisioned to be the operational base of the city’s network of evacuation centers, as well as the central command and coordinating station for disaster relief and rehabilitation effort.

Another PPP project is a septage facility following the improvement of the city’s septage management program.

USAID’s Water Security for Resilient Economic Growth and Stability (Be Secure) Project was instrumental in the undertaking of a feasibility study for the septage management program of the city. The study, which will be completed in the first quarter of 2017, will identify implementation options for desludging septic tanks and treated in an environmentally acceptable treatment facility that will help protect aquifers from domestic wastewater contamination. The program will also offer opportunities for water re-use and aquifer recharge. (Story contributed by the Cagayan de Oro City Local Economic Investments Promotion Office)

USAID and USTP senior officials launch Mindanao's first Professional Science Master's program to help strengthen the workforce of the region's emerging power industry.

USAID and USTP launch first Professional Science Master's degree in Mindanao

The University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) in Cagayan de Oro City joined a handful of Philippine universities offering Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree when it launched the first PSM program in Mindanao on January 11, 2017.

The PSM in Power Systems Engineering and Management, jointly designed with local power companies and USAID's Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) Program, combines advanced coursework in science and engineering with business and management training to produce highly-skilled graduates sought after in the industry. The university believes the program will strengthen the workforce of Mindanao’s emerging power industry.

The PSM is an innovative graduate degree program designed to provide students with advanced education in science and engineering, while simultaneously developing business, management and other workplace skills highly valued by employers.

Present during the launch were USTP President Dr. Ricardo Rotoras, Cagayan Electric Power Senior Vice President Mr.Jaime Rafael Paguio, Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives President Mr. Sergio Dagooc, and representatives from other local power companies.

USAID/Philippines Senior Education Advisor Mirshariff Tillah, STRIDE Program Chief of Party Dr. Dave Hall and Manager Dr. Leo Abenes, witnessed the agreement signing between USTP and the local power companies.

USAID introduces climate change, WASH, and disaster risk management in university's engineering curriculum

“Glocal (global and local) climate change, water management, and DRRM are among the most important problems facing the environmental engineer of today," said Dr. Jihan Adil, Associate Professor and Head of the Environmental Engineering Department of the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City.

Dr. Adil, like most of his fellow professors, recognized the need to make their students more adept in understanding and tackling environmental issues.

USAID’s Be Secure Project worked with the university in enhancing the curriculum of major subjects in its Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering Program. It trained the Environmental Engineering Department faculty in teaching concepts of water demand management and conducting water audits for more efficient use of water--an upgrade to the simple water source development and water treatment processes currently taught in water engineering.

"USAID/Be Secure has greatly assisted the Environmental Engineering Department of WMSU in its mission to educate job-ready environmental engineers by providing us with updated and localized data about climate change impacts," he added.

Be Secure also provided the department with mapped data on the various hydrological hazards in Zamboanga City, enabling them to improve discussions on natural hazards in Environmental Geology.

Zamboanga City helps fellow CDI partner city Cagayan de Oro recover from flash flood

Zamboanga City committed to help Cagayan de Oro City recover from a massive flash flood on January 16, 2017. In response to the crisis experienced by Cagayan de Oro, the Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council passed a resolution to donate PhP1 million to the city.

Recorded as the worst urban flooding in the last five years, rainwater quickly rose to levels that partially submerged vehicles in commercial and residential areas, which forced more than 5,000 people to evacuate and left at least four people dead.

Both Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro are Cities Development Initiative (CDI) partner cities that are working with USAID to advance their inclusive, environmentally sustainable and resilient growth. The SURGE Project is helping the CDI cities mainstream socially inclusive and gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation strategies to their local development planning.

Puerto Princesa and Tagbilaran to become more resilient and socially inclusive

The cities of Puerto Princesa and Tagbilaran are improving various city plans and programs to become more resilient in times of disasters.

Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, Southern Luzon, is updating its Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Plan for 2017 to 2019, to include ways to address gaps and opportunities towards risk reduction and resilience-building. During a vulnerability assessment activity organized by the SURGE Project in January, stakeholders agreed to improve the fund utilization of the DRRM Plan, facilitate a barangay-level vulnerability assessment to validate and incorporate community measures into the plan, and improve skills and resources of the local government for resilience-building activities. As a next step to mainstream DRRM in local development planning, SURGE will assist Puerto Princesa City in identifying climate-resilient projects, programs and activities.

Meanwhile, Tagbilaran City in Bohol, Central Visayas, created a roadmap for mainstreaming socially inclusive and gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into local development planning. The SURGE Project worked with the City Government’s Technical Working Group to review the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), the Zoning Ordinance, the Sectoral Studies and the proposed land use map as part of the process of revising the city's CLUP that began in 2014. The city will develop an Ecological Profile that integrates climate and disaster risks, greenhouse gas accounting and low-emission transportation plans. SURGE will assist Tagbilaran City in finalizing the Zoning Ordinance to be submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) for review and eventually adoption by the first quarter of 2017.

Zamboanga City commends USAID support towards inclusive urban development

On January 10, 2017, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco recognized the role of USAID’s SURGE Project in supporting resilient and inclusive urban development and economic growth in her first State of the City Address for 2017.

Representatives from the Philippine Congress, city council, city government offices, business community, academe and civil society attended the event. Mayor Climaco thanked SURGE and other USAID projects for assisting the city in streamlining the Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS), establishing the Business One Stop Shop (BOSS), and facilitating the technical review of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Comprehensive Development Plan, and Zoning Ordinance. She highlighted that Zamboanga City benefited from an influx of investments, tourist and expansion of local businesses in the city that contributed to 2,056 new registered businesses and 8,042 new jobs in 2016. The mayor shared that the city’s initiatives towards inclusive and resilient growth were recognized with the various awards that the city received such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government Seal of Good Local Governance, Gawad Kalasag Award for best disaster prepared highly urbanized city in the Zamboanga Peninsula Region, and the Crown Award for exemplary implementation of nutrition programs.

Click on the video below to watch a short clip of Zamboanga City business owners sharing their experience with the BOSS. You may also watch the video through YouTube here.

Mayor Climaco also laid down the city's 16 priority legislative agenda for the next three years as concurred during the executive legislative agenda (ELA).

The mayor’s legislative agenda supports initiatives to boost the city’s local economic development and resilience, which includes revenue generation, land use planning, disaster risk reduction and management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, environment protection and transport management, among others. (Story contributed by Zamboanga City City Information Office)

Japanese companies to share technologies on water supply and solid waste treatment with Cagayan de Oro

Meanwhile, on January 30-31, 2017, 20 executives from private companies based in Yokohama, Japan visited Cagayan de Oro City to share their technological expertise on water supply, wastewater and solid waste management. Japanese businessmen attended a business matching seminar as part of the Yokohama Partnership of Resources and Technologies (Y-PORT) Project, which promotes PPP through international technical assistance. The business matching event was organized by the Cagayan de Oro Trade and Investment Promotions Center, Department of Trade and Industry - Misamis Oriental, the Board of Investments Cagayan de Oro Extension Office and the SURGE Project.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno welcomed the delegation led by Mr. Masakazu Okuno, Director of the International Affairs Bureau of Yokohama, Japan, and Mr. Tomihara Takayuki, Project Formulation Advisor of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Office.

“I am hoping that this meeting will yield productive endeavors that are mutually beneficial between the governments of the Philippines and Japan, which has a long history of support and assistance to Mindanao,” said Mayor Moreno.

City Government officials presented the city’s urban development plan and shared how Yokohama’s technology can address water and sanitation issues. Apart from being a USAID Cities Development Initiative (CDI) partner city, Cagayan de Oro is also one of four cities in Mindanao where JICA is extending its project funding and development assistance.

Cities Development Initiative

USAID is working to strengthen the economic competitiveness and resilience of secondary cities outside of Metro Manila through its Cities Development Initiative (CDI). The CDI seeks to advance the development of secondary cities as agents of growth that is inclusive, environmentally sustainable and resilient. Depending on the most urgent needs of the city, USAID provides a range of technical assistance, drawing from resources in economic growth, health, energy, environment, governance, and education to assist the cities achieve resilience and inclusive growth.

The CDI is a crucial component of the broader Partnership for Growth, a White House initiated “whole-of-government” partnership between the U.S. Government and the Government of the Philippines. The partnership aims to shift the Philippines to a sustained and more inclusive growth trajectory on par with other high‐performing emerging economies. Currently, USAID has six CDI partner cities: Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran and Zamboanga. Legazpi City in Southern Luzon and General Santos City in Southern Mindanao are the two upcoming CDI cities.

For more information on USAID's projects in the Philippines, click here.

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