Mayor Sally A. Lee Articulates Sorsogon City’s Development Financing Strategy in Surabaya Forum
Mayor Sally A. Lee Articulates Sorsogon City’s Development Financing Strategy in Surabaya Forum

MAYOR SALLY A. LEE ARTICULATES SORSOGON CITY’S DEVELOPMENT FINANCING STRATEGY IN SURABAYA FORUM

By:

TITO D. FORTES, CESO V

Consultant, CPMU

            Once again, Mayor Sally A. Lee’s expertise in good governance was witnessed and applauded by participants at the 7th UCLG ASPAC Congress on “Innovation-Driven Development for Sustainable Cities” on September 12-14, 2018 in Surabaya, Indonesia.

The Congress

            The 7th UCLG ASPAC Congress is an event for development officials and strategists to exchange ideas and experience and forge new partnerships to strengthen local governance stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda particularly in the Asia Pacific Region. Through creative innovations, the capacity of LGUs will be enhanced to provide public services to reach all citizens, thus ensuring sustainability in the development process. Likewise the forum serves as an avenue for rethinking how foreign aid works and how the LGUs can incorporate in it. It also discussed the development aid coordination mechanism for development funding.

The SDGs acknowledge the important role that cities play in the pursuit of sustainable development through Goal 11, which aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

The New Urban Agenda, which was agreed upon at the 3rd United Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador in 2016, offers a new model of urbanization in response to the challenges of rapid urban growth and specifically acknowledges local authorities as key partners in shaping the global agenda.

The overall objective of the Congress is to create a notable platform for local government leaders and all relevant stakeholders to strengthen their commitment in improving innovations and promoting smart and innovative practices for sustainable cities. It is also an excellent opportunity for networking and establish a network of partner and stakeholder organizations.

 

Sorsogon City’s Development Financing Strategy

                 Mayor Sally A. Lee elaborated on the Local Budget Sources as well as the Local Development Fund Sources. She then underscored the National Government’s aid in the so-called “Bottom-up Budgeting” featuring among others, the Improvement of Health Centers (DOH), Livelihood Projects (DTI), Improvement of the Capuy-Basud Irrigation System (DA) and the Rehabilitation of Bacon Water System (DILG). Mayor Lee also explained the Foreign-assisted Infrastructure Program such as the CDRRMO Action Center (World Food Programme), Bamboo Village (Hilti Foundation), ANCOP Resettlement Site (Couples for Christ) and Roads and Bridges (Asian Development Bank), among others. She also articulated on the various capability-building programs and projects assisted by foreign agencies and institutions such as UNESCAP, IFAD, MDGFund, UNDP, ADB, WB UN-HABITAT, WFP, UN Environment, British Government and AUSAID. It is noteworthy to mention that in view of the various initiatives of the City Government, foreign funding had been pouring in which acknowledges the pioneering efforts of the city in implementing model programs and projects in human settlements, disaster preparedness, population and health, climate change, local development financing, agriculture, social services, environment and other sectoral concerns.

Along the way, some insights, issues and concerns were observed. These are: a) City programs and projects are aligned with national agenda and international commitments of the country; b) Readiness and capability hindered by poor documentation at the local level; c) Need for capability development programs for local employees; d) Limited information at the local level; and e) Difficulty for third party monitoring initiatives. Nevertheless, efforts and initiatives have been put in place and are continuously being pursued to address these issues and concerns. It’s a never-ending process in good governance. (TDF)