USAid picks Oro as pilot city for dev’t-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
CAGAYAN de Oro City has been chosen by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) as the pilot city for development in Mindanao under a two-year project called Investment Enabling Environment or Invest, Mayor Oscar Moreno announced Friday.
“They want to help the Philippines,” Moreno said in his opening message during the stakeholders forum in a restaurant here Friday.
He added the agency would like to assist the Philippines in development because many of the residents live in the urban areas.
“They try to pick secondary cities as their pilot cities for development,” Moreno said, explaining why USAid chose Cagayan de Oro City instead of picking Davao since it is the most prosperous city in Mindanao.
He said that another reason why USAid chose the city is its history ties with the Americans during their occupation of the Philippines.
“We should remember that the Americans put up the first public high school in Mindanao in Cagayan de Oro City,” he said.
Ofelia Templo, chief of party of Team Invest, said the USAid chose the city as a pilot city because of its potential to become the “economic hub” that could lead the development in the entire Mindanao.
“We have seen the potential of the city to drive the economic growth of the island,” Templo said.
According to Orient Integrated Development Consultants Incorporated’s (OIDCI) website, Invest aims to cater more local and foreign investments through lowering the transaction costs in setting up businesses.
Project Invest is being piloted in three cities -- Iloilo, Batangas, and Cagayan de Oro.
On the same website, it says that OIDCI is the first local private company to manage Project Invest which is funded by the USAid.
Project Invest, according to OIDCI, will assist the chosen cities “streamline business processes and improve their investment planning and promotion” to improve their competitiveness as conducive business destination.
In practice, it will employ automation of the business permit and licensing system to lower the cost of doing business in the city.
Invest also seeks to strengthen the ties between the city’s business offices, local government unit, academe, and other local organizations to shore up the promotion of the city’s businesses and implement initiatives.
Linda Boniao, assistant regional director of the Department of Trade and Industry in Northern Mindanao said Project Invest will help create a good investment environment in the city.
“This will also help create a good business environment for the investors,” she said.
Boniao said this project will also help boost the local business that will result to employment opportunities to the city’s workforce.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 13, 2013.