US envoy reaffirms commitment to ZC PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 November 2014 11:35

American Ambassador Phillip Goldberg yesterday underscored Zamboanga City’s potentials as an engine of growth in the country, as he reaffirmed the US government’s strong commitment to assist the city attain its goals.

Goldberg said this as he witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Mayor Beng Climaco and USAID Mission Director Gloria Steele that paves the way for a 5-year partnership for attaining peace and development in a program dubbed as Cities Development Initiatives (CDI).

“This is a reaffirmation of the US government’s strong commitment to Zamboanga City. We have had a long standing and rich relationship and we look forward to see Zamboanga City realize its potentials,” the ambassador said.

Mayor Climaco for her part said the CDI program is one way that will help accelerate growth in Zamboanga in the light of the challenges besetting the city.

“You don’t know how this means to us,” she told Ambassador Goldberg and the other USAID partners. “I’d like to say thank you to the men and women of USAID.  We will continue to rebuild a better Zamboanga”.

Aside from the ambassador, District II Congresswoman Lilia Nuño also witnessed the signing ceremony held at the Garden Orchid Hotel.

The CDI aims to encourage economic growth in urban areas outside Metro Manila. It is intended to improve investment climate in the secondary cities by fostering an open and competitive business climate, facilitating investments in high-value industry clusters, enhancing human capital development and promoting industry-academe linkages, strengthening health services and ensuring urban  environmental resiliency.

Other cities that have already became part of the CDI are Batangas, Ilo-ilo and Cagayan de Oro which made significant progress in fostering and opening competitive progress.

Present during the MOU signing ceremony were Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and members of the City Council, city department heads, representatives from national and local government agencies, NGOs, business sector and other sectoral groups. — Sheila Covarrubias