Friday, 27 October 2023 09:16


Written by Oro TIPC

26 October 2023, Quezon City—Urban Connect, a project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched its engagement with Cagayan de Oro and eight (8) other partner cities under its Cities Development Initiative (CDI) in virtual and onsite ceremonies at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Quezon City.

The project, which seeks to promote inclusive and resilient economic growth by enhancing local economic development and improving public service delivery, will be implemented in Batangas, Legazpi and Puerto Princesa in Luzon; Iloilo, Tacloban, and Tagbilaran in Visayas; and Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, and Zamboanga in Mindanao.

Present for Cagayan de Oro at the launch were City Administrator Atty. Roy Hilario P. Raagas, Local Economic Development and Investment Promotions Officer (LEDIPO) John W. Asuncion, and Hanin S. Laguindab of the Cagayan de Oro Trade and Investment Promotions Center (Oro-TIPC).

The ceremonies began with Welcome Remarks from Alex Brillantes Jr., PhD, Chief of Party of USAID Urban Connect, followed by the Opening Message of USAID Philippines and Mongolia Mission Director Ryan Washburn.

Messages of support followed from Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr., Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Director General Ernesto Perez, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Assistant Secretary Sarah Lynne Ducales, Quirino Governor and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines President Dakila Carlo Cua, and Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation Chief Guillermo Luz.

In his message, ARTA Director General Perez cited Cagayan de Oro as one of only 13 cities nationwide -- and one of only two (2) outside the National Capital Region (NCR) -- to have implemented end-to-end online eBusiness One-Stop-Shop (eBOSS) in compliance with the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Law.

A learning session on The Future of Cities: Smart Local EGovernment Solutions followed that afternoon with GeiserMaclang eConsultancy Founder Amor Maclang moderating.

Ambassador-designate of Malaysia to the Republic of the Philippines, Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino bin Anthony talked about Innovating Governments, stressing that one cannot work in isolation since public service delivery is a whole government approach crucial for nation-building.

Development needs to be from the core, Ambassador Malik added, from the level of local governments as implementers of services with direct public access, citing digital delivery as an efficient service delivery avenue.

The session ended with a quick panel and sample Pitch Fest during which several companies showcased what technology can do for local governments in health, e-sports, billing and payments, procurement, agriculture, and waste management.