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US envoy reaffirms support to Zambo


American Ambassador Sung Kim on Thursday pledged to continuously support Zamboanga City through various projects implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The envoy said this as he called on Mayor Beng Climaco in City Hall Thursday morning on the sidelight of his visit to US troops quartered at the Western Mindanao Command in Calarian.

Ambassador Kim expressed delight that the strong collaboration between Zamboanga and the US government has resulted to very productive efforts that oblige his government to continue USAID support to Zamboanga.

The city hall courtesy call kicked off with welcome honors prepared by the Zamboanga City Police Office and was capped by a short briefing at the City Hall conference room with discussions centering on continuous cooperation, the city’s profile and priority programs as well as issues related to education, youth development as well as the prevailing peace and order situation in the city.

Zamboanga is one of the first cities that the envoy visited outside of the Metro Manila since his assumption in office in September 2016.

Zamboanga, is a beneficiary of the Cities Development Initiative (CDI) program of the USAID aimed to advance the city’s inclusive, environmentally sustainable resilient growth. The projects are implemented by USAID-SURGE, USAID BeSecure, USAID- Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation Project and E-PESO starting in the year 2013.

“We are very thankful that the assistance (from the USAID) has tripled through the years,” Mayor Beng Climaco said stressing that the city has so far benefited $48M worth of projects through the CDI.

Climaco said the USAID has assisted the city in streamlining the Business permits and Licensing System, establishing the Business One Stop Shop (BOSS), and facilitating the technical review of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Comprehensive Development Plan, and Zoning Ordinance.

The USAID likewise helped the city in the drafting of an enhanced disaster risk reduction and management plan, local climate change adaptation plan and mainstreamed disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into the city’s CLUP as well as in the implementation of the e-peso ecosystem resulting to cashless transactions in the local government and numerous others. (Sheila Covarrubias)

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