BACOLOD CITY – Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the city government will tap leaders of the business sector for the strategic planning exercises in the implementation of the World Bank Green and Resilient Development Program.
Bacolod is among the pilot cities recently selected by the World Bank to be part of the technical assistance program geared towards strengthening the competitive capabilities of cities as part of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Economic Recovery Program.
“We always welcome development assistance from international institutions. In the midst of this pandemic, such an assistance becomes even more significant and valuable. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with the World Bank on this venture,” Leonardia said in a statement on Monday.
The World Bank team, led by leader Madhu Raghunah, is expected to arrive in the city at a later date to conduct the strategic planning exercises.
The plans are expected to link development strategies with physical/spatial plans and public finance given the Covid-19 conditions.
The technical assistance will also incorporate green design principles, and work towards a metropolitan approach to development.
The Philippine pilot cities were chosen in partnership with the Department of Finance, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the League of Cities of the Philippines, which Leonardia heads as national president.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government, through Undersecretary Marivel Sacendoncillo, informed Leonardia of Bacolod’s inclusion in the World Bank grant.
The technical assistance, which builds on the 2017 World Bank’s Philippines Urbanization Review, intends to provide best practices options and recommendations for strategic urban planning in select secondary cities in the Philippines, and to guide them in pursuing sustainable and inclusive growth.
The selected cities will be assisted in determining their main economic development drivers and to identify the opportunities and challenges to position their cities relative to such potential economic development drivers.
The World Bank will also help pilot cities assess the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and find ways to build the enabling environment for investments. (PNA)