Regional Director Agnes M. Espinas of the NEDA Regional Office in Bicol (NRO V) presented the Bicol Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022 during the Legazpi City Stakeholders’ Forum on May 16 in Legazpi City Hall. The activity was part of the official launching of the Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines in partnership with the city government of Legazpi.
The SURGE project is the flagship project under the Cities Development Initiative (CDI) that provides assistance to secondary cities outside Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao to achieve inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and resilient economic growth. It focuses on the following four key areas: (a) strengthening local capacity in urban development including the promotion of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to ensure access to sustainable water supply and sanitary services; (b) promoting low greenhouse gas emission local economic development strategies with streamlined administrative and regulatory procedures and improved infrastructure and transport systems; (c) expanding economic connectivity and access between urban and rural areas; and (d) strengthening multisectoral capacity to provide health and other basic services to ensure social inclusion.
The entry of Legazpi City in the CDI program of the USAID is an opportunity that should be maximized to enable the city to play its vital role in socioeconomic development of the Bicol region.
The partnership between the USAID, represented by Dr. Susan Brems and the city government of Legazpi, represented by Mayor Noel E. Rosal, was formalized through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. It was witnessed by Governor Al Francis Bichara, Albay Governor and Regional Development Council chairperson, and RD Agnes Espinas together with the city’s local officials and heads of regional line agencies.
Photos by NEDA Bicol