3 Pangasinan LGUs ink MOA to implement MDG projects funded by European Union

March 24, 2010 12:39 pm 

ALAMINOS CITY, March 24 –Three local government units, all members of the One Pangasinan Alliance (OPAL), signed a memorandum of agreement on Monday, vowing to jointly implement a program under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

The MOA was signed by Mayors Hernani Braganza of Alaminos City, Domingo Doctor Jr. of Burgos and Marcelo Navarro Jr. of Bani with Roland Cabigas, managing director of the group, La Liga Policy Institute, an institutional partner.

The three LGUs agreed to implement the program MDG Pathways: Cementing Pathways to Financing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Virginie Lafleur-Tighe, program officer of the European Union (EU), which will fund the project, witnessed the signing.

Incidentally, the signing coincided with the celebration of the Gali’La Hundred Islands Festival 2010 and the city patronal fiesta celebration.

Cabigas said MDGG pathways program, with EU as the funding agency, is a partnership project among local governments, national and local citizens, organizations and other development stakeholders, that aims to push nationally-committed MDG targets in local government programs and budget."

The project has a total cost of 282,159 Euros, in addition to the funding support from the European Union of another 239,835 Euros, and counterpart funds from La Liga.

MDG pathways seeks to create an impact on MDG targets that are at risk of being achieved by 2015. These include programs on poverty reduction, education, reproductive and maternal health, and environmental sustainability by institutionalizing people’s participation and cooperative engagement in the planning, budgeting, resource mobilization and monitoring processes at the local level.

“Through these partnerships, we hope to bolster the delivery of basic social services to the 1.6 million people of the project target sites, especially to the marginalized sectors of fisher folks, farmers, women, school children and out-of-school youth,” Cabigas said.

“We welcome the commitments of our LGU project partners in Pangasinan and we look forward to a fruitful cooperation with them in undertaking improved MDG related services and programs in their areas,” he added.

He said that for the next two years, the three LGU partners (Alaminos, Burgos and Bani) will be sharing experiences and even resources and become models for integrated area development.

Alaminos, Bani and Burgos are among the seven original members of One Pangasinan Alliance of LGUs (OPAL), a brainchild of Mayor Braganza, which treated Western Pangasinan as a cluster of local government units with intersecting boundaries and common socio-economic and even political interests that require an integrated intervention.

The project also covers a cluster of three LGUs in the province of Negros Oriental namely Sibulan, Dauin and La Libertad. Another institutional partner to the project is the Social Watch Philippines.

In her message, Tighe said the project is one of the 10 proposals selected among 102 fitting projects under the strategic project facility of the European Union, making it very competitive.

Tighe said this project is relevant to the challenges of participatory local governance in the country and to the objective of EU-Philippines cooperation.

“The existing partnerships that sustain this project have high chances of reaching impact and sustainability and the activities proposed will represent valuable opportunities for participants to strengthen institutions,” Tighe said.

Mayor Braganza thanked the La Liga Policy Institute for choosing the City of Alaminos, and the municipalities of Bani and Burgos in broadening its MDG commitments into actual policies, programs and resources. (PNA) LAP/lvm/lvmicua/1030/rma

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