BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia is waiting for the authority from the City Council to sign, on behalf of the city, separate memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the flyover projects and the European Union project dubbed as "Partnership for Democratic Local Governance in Southeast Asia."

Councilor Caesar Distrito, chairman of the City Council Committee on Laws, declared that his committee will recommend to the City Council for the approval of the requests of Leonardia for authority to sign the two MOAs.

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He will prepare his recommendation to the council next week.

Distrito said that he conducted Tuesday a committee hearing regarding the flyover projects. The committee just clarified the responsibility of the city as to the construction of these flyover projects.

The two flyovers cost P386 million each. It is a nationally-funded project, which cannot be re-aligned for any other purpose, Distrito said.

No representative from the Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways and Office of Bacolod City lone district Representative Anthony Golez attended the hearing, Distrito said.

Earlier, Golez went to the site of the proposed flyover project at the intersection of Magsaysay-Araneta Streets.

He said that the construction of the projects will be implemented soon. However, prior to implementation, the MOA needs to be signed by the city mayor and he also needs the authority of the City Council to do so.

As to the European Union project, Leonardia had already requested the City Council to grant him the authority to sign the MOA.

The EU has identified pilot areas for the implementation of its governance project. Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, were among those targeted for the pilot project. Bacolod was chosen among all other cities in the country for the project implementation.

The project will be implemented in close cooperation with regional organizations and local government associations in recipient countries. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has a lead role in the management of the project.

Distrito said that this project will nurture the trans-national exchange of best practices in democratic local governance among local government units. The project has been designed to make available and share best practice models on local governance throughout the five participating countries.

The project will contribute to the improvement of living conditions of disadvantaged groups through increased participation of people in local planning and decision making.

Leonardia earlier said that this is a big boost for the city's morale, especially after having been chosen the "Most Business Friendly City' and named the 'Best Place to Live in the Country.'"

And for being the only one chosen out of the 122 cities, he can now say again that Bacolod is surging ahead, he said.

Mandaluyong Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr., national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines informed Leonardia about its selection for the EU project in an official communication dated July 2.

The letter included the endorsements of Cresencio Doma Jr., national coordinator of Partnership for Democratic Local Governance in Southeast Asia, and Edmund Tamayo, executive director of LOGODEF.

In his letter, Abalos said that "Bacolod has passed all the criteria of being a potential pilot city" and, as such, will have the option to select a "Best Practice" from 16 selected best practices among the four participating countries in Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines.