USAID launches development initiatives program in Iloilo City

March 4, 2012 12:57 pm 

ILOILO CITY, March 3 – Iloilo City has been chosen as one the three cities in the country to benefit from a partnership program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that officially kicked off with the signing of an agreement here Friday afternoon.

The Cities Development Initiatives is aimed at promoting accelerated and inclusive growth, according to USAID Mission Director Gloria Steele.

“Promoting growth of cities is important, especially those with potential for growth, to serve as engine for growth for the rest of the cities that surround it and the province where it is located and the province that surrounds it,” she explained.

The growth has to be derived from a partnership between the United States and the Philippines that are both expected to implement reforms, policies and programs that are designed to steer development, she added.

Steele said that to feel its maximum impact, the city government and the USAID will have to synchronize their programs and really focus on achieving similar goals.

Meantime, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog emphasized that the partnership would spell a big difference as he is elated that the potential of this city is recognized as well as the impact of the growth to other local government units (LGUs).

“This will boost the morale and image and the economy of Iloilo City,” he said.

USAID will be pouring in financial and technical supports to key areas, namely environment, education, power, health, processing of business permits and the economy, he added.

Mabilog said that any improvement in these areas would make a difference because it will provide opportunities for employment likewise open avenues for entrepreneurship to benefit the poor.

Nonetheless, he emphasized that the success of the program depends not only on the city government but on “continued partnership between the public and the private sectors working together with all the other sectors.”

The agreement was signed by U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Leslie A. Bassett and Mayor Mabilog and witnessed by Steele and Senator Franklin Drilon.

The signing of the agreement was one of the activities under the “America in 3D” roadshow of the embassy that will end here Sunday. (PNA) scs/PGLena/vlo

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