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ULAP, WB Collaborate To Strengthen Local Governance In Philippines

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ULAP, WB Collaborate To Strengthen Local Governance In Philippines

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Senior officials of the World Bank and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) have explored potential engagements to strengthen support for local governments in the Philippines and identify avenues for deeper collaboration.

The meeting, held in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on May 6, provided a platform for meaningful exchanges between key World Bank officials led by Ndiamé Diop, country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand; Anna Wellenstein, regional director of the Sustainable Development Practice Group for East Asia and the Pacific; and ULAP representatives led by its national president, Quirino Governor Dax Cua.

Joining Cua were governors Arthur Defensor of Iloilo and Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza of Cotabato; mayors Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez of Bacolod City and Germelina Singson-Goulart of Caoayan, Ilocos Sur; and barangay and other ULAP officials.

The agenda featured the World Bank’s presentation of its sustainable development programs in the country, particularly on urban resilience and disaster, water, agriculture, and environment, natural resources, and the blue economy.

Meanwhile, Cua outlined ULAP’s activities and programs, local government programs, challenges, and opportunities.

The governors and mayors also shared firsthand experiences and strategic priorities from their respective local government units, enriching the dialogue with practical insights.

Diop shared insights into the World Bank’s interventions.

“Our goal is to help design projects that truly meet the needs of local communities. Development is local, and we are committed to supporting initiatives that have a strong local impact,” he said.

“We look forward to identifying synergies with ULAP to scale up successful projects and empower local governments in driving sustainable development,” Wellenstein said.

The dialogue also discussed challenges faced by local governments, including infrastructure, disaster response, water management, agriculture, and environmental sustainability.

ULAP emphasized the need for capital investments, technical expertise, and direct partnerships with the World Bank to address resource constraints and enhance service delivery.

“We are encouraged by the productive dialogue with World Bank today and look forward to advancing our collaboration to empower local governments and drive sustainable development outcomes in the Philippines. The local government units are your partners in national development. The future is local!” he said. (PNA)