Friday, March 2, 2012

U.S. Government Launches Development Partnership with Iloilo City

Iloilo Buildings on the Rise
ILOILO CITY- The Philippines’ “Queen City of the South” has been selected as one of the partner cities to take part in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Cities Development Initiative (CDI).

     Today U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Leslie A. Bassett and USAID Mission Director Gloria D. Steele signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City Government of Iloilo led by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.  This landmark event was also witnessed by Senator Franklin Drilon, Iloilo City Representative Jerry Treñas, and representatives from the private sector, academia, and civil society organizations.

     This new partnership between USAID and Iloilo city government aims to address key constraints to economic growth and investment in Iloilo. The Cities Development Initiative with Iloilo will unlock and maximize the city’s growth potential through significant collaboration in areas such as higher education, energy, environment, health systems, and economic growth and investment.

     An integral part of the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth initiative, USAID’s Cities Development Initiative takes a unique and cross-cutting approach to promoting inclusive growth in strategically selected cities that include Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, and Batangas. 

     Based on the premise that economic growth and job creation are closely linked to urban development, CDI seeks to promote growth in urban centers that have a demonstrated potential to “take off,” thereby enabling the Philippines to promote economic growth outside of Metro Manila and disperse economic opportunity more broadly in the Philippines as the country moves from a low growth path to a higher, sustained, and more inclusive growth trajectory in line with other high-performing emerging economies.

     “Iloilo City was selected as one of a small number of cities to become a ‘center of growth’ under the CDI because of its demonstrated economic potential.  We applaud the commitment of Iloilo’s government to promoting good governance and attracting investment.  It takes a strong partnership between the public and private sectors to work towards long-term and inclusive development,” Director Steele said.

     The U.S. - Philippines Partnership for Growth (PFG) was launched in November 2011, with the signing of a Statement of Principles by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. The Philippines is one of only four countries selected to take part in this White House initiative.

     “The PFG brings together 15 federal agencies of the U.S. government to provide a whole range of assistance and non-assistance programs to promote economic growth in the Philippines,” Ms. Bassett said.  “It will be carried out in the spirit of mutual responsibility, embracing commitment by the Philippine government to take the necessary actions to promote inclusive growth.

     The CDI launch takes place during “America in 3D” (A3D), the U.S. Embassy’s signature public outreach program that is taking place from March 2-4 at SM City Iloilo.  The A3D event, which features musical and dance performances, samplings of American food, information about applying for visas and studying in the United States, and sports clinics, is aimed at expanding and deepening the relationship between Americans and Filipinos.



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