USAID-ENGAGE kicks off in Zambo City PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 January 2014 14:00

The City of Zamboanga and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Thursday, January 23, affirming their mutual intent to support transparency, good governance, and peace and development in Mindanao, through the implementation Enhancing Governance, Accountability and Engagement (ENGAGE) project.

The signing of the MOU signified the commitment of Zamboanga City and four other Western Mindanao local government units (LGUs) to support the ENGAGE project, a five-year USAID/Philippines project which seeks to improve the capacities of LGUs and civil society organizations (CSOs) to build prosperity and stability in Mindanao.

Among the first 10 LGU beneficiaries identified for the first ENGAGE project cycle are Zamboanga City, Isabela City, Lamitan City, the province of Sulu, and the municipality of Jolo.

The agreement was signed by US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, USAID Mission Director Gloria Steele, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Luwalhati Antonio, and the representatives of the five LGU beneficiaries - City Mayor Beng Climaco for Zamboanga City, Councilor Janesa Tubungbanua representing Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar for Isabela City, Mayor Rosita Furigay for Lamitan City, Provincial Board Member Abduradzmezer Burahan representing Governor Abdusakur Tan for Sulu, and Mayor Hussin Amin for Jolo.

“We really need programs of the USAID to teach us citizen participation, stakeholder empowerment, collective and collaborative processes for our constituents to be really involved,” Climaco said as she welcomed the presence of USAID and the ENGAGE project in the City.

“What we want is government transparency and accountability of elected officials who will be at the helm of leadership, to be sure that every fund of national government would trickle down to benefit the most vulnerable citizens of our country,” she added.

The MOU signing ceremony also coincided with the first Mindanao visit of Ambassador Goldberg, who earlier paid his courtesy call to Climaco at City Hall. —Jasmine Mohammadsali