Mr. Lamar Cravens, Chief of Party to USAID’s new local governance project – Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) in the Philippines paid a courtesy call on Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan last September 17 at the NEDA Director-General’s Office.

Secretary Balisacan and Mr. Cravens discussed how the SURGE Project can complement existing efforts by the government and other multilateral agencies, such as the long-term vision exercise (Filipino 2040) led by NEDA, in achieving broad-based, inclusive, and resilient economic growth with maximum impact.

The five-year, $49 million SURGE Project is intended to help cities plan better, create more attractive and competitive business environments, link urban and rural centers so that more citizens benefit from rapid economic activity, and provide adequate health and other basic social services. The project will initially be implemented in the cities of Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran, and Zamboanga, and will eventually cover additional cities in the near-term.


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