DILG, CIDA to launch LGSP-LED in Guimaras
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will launch the Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED) in the province of Guimaras on June 2, 2009.
DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero and May Wong, First Secretary for Development of the Canadian Embassy are expected to grace the occasion, which will be held at the Guimaras Trade and Information Center, Guimaras Provincial Capitol in Jordan, Guimaras.
The Guimaras launch signals a series of similar activities that will be held in three other provinces – Bohol, Pangasinan, and Zamboanga del Norte – and will culminate in the national launch on June 22 in Metro Manila.
LGSP-LED is an eight-year collaborative project of the Governments of Canada and the Philippines that will support provinces and local government alliances reduce poverty by strengthening local governance and supporting sustainable local economic development.
Selected from 50 applicants, the first phase of the program will benefit the province of Guimaras, the Bohol Integrated Area Development Cluster 5, the One Pangasinan Alliance of LGUs (OPAL) and the DDPKaRoMa Growth Corridor in Zamboanga del Norte.
“This phase covers the initial 15 months of the program and will focus on strengthening the LED programming and partnership arrangements of these LGU alliances, all of whom have begun the LED process and would need assistance for further LED support and implementation,” explains Marion Villanueva, LGSP-LED field director.
Villanueva says the lessons learned and experience gained during the first phase will serve to guide the succeeding phases of LGSP-LED implementation.
“It is also intended to inform CIDA and DILG on whether the LGUs should continue into the longer term phase and/or attract more LGUs into the Project,” she adds.
LGSP-LED is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and implemented by the Canadian Executing Agency (CEA), in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The CEA is a consortium of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). The implementation of LGSP-LED covers the period 2008-2016.
In Guimaras, the program will strengthen the implementation of the Guimaras Agri-Tourism Development Project which hopes to establish the province as the country’s top destination for agri-tourism in terms of visitor volume to agritourism sites, top-of-the-mind recall as a general leisure product and high quality standards for agri-tourism products and activities.
“We are honored to be qualified in the first phase of the LGSP-LED. This means a lot for us here in Guimaras as we move forward following the devastating effects of the oil spill disaster that hit us in 2006,” quips Guimaras Gov. Felipe Hilan Nava, M.D.
Guimaras, a 60-457-ha island province in central Philippines, suffered a big blow after an oil tanker sank of its shores in August 2006, spilling 2 million liters of bunker fuel into the sea, ruining the marine environment and the livelihood of its peoples.
“The focus of LGSP-LED assistance is to improve the capacity of the selected LGUs to create and maintain an environment that sustains more value creation for its enterprises and greater prosperity for its people,” explains DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero.
“Sustainable local economic development dictates that the LGU makes efficient use of its natural resources, minimizing adverse effects brought about by undirected growth,” he adds.
The important contribution of the project would be to ensure that LGUs have the prerequisite enabling environment in pushing its businesses and residents oriented towards pro-poor, gender responsive and environmentally sound local economic development, says Panadero.