James Nichols conducts a workshop on process improvement in construction permitting in Iloilo.

ICMA has deployed three volunteer experts to share international best practices for revenue generation with local governments of eight cities in the Philippines.

ICMA member and construction permitting specialist James Nichols mentored five city governments, namely Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, and Tagbilaran, in developing a more efficient system for construction permitting and issuance of certificates of occupancy to promote ease of doing business. ICMA member Ronald Rabun developed a revenue management manual based on his consultations with the cities of General Santos, Puerto Princesa, and Tagbilaran. Meanwhile, Samuel Misenheimer helped local experts facilitate workshops on asset management for those five cities, as well as for Batangas, Legazpi, and Zamboanga.

The three volunteers supported the activities of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) project. The eight cities are partners of USAID under the Cities Development Initiative. With the assistance of the project, the cities gained a more in-depth understanding of the principles of streamlining construction permitting and asset management, and are now implementing action plans to improve systems and revenue generation practices. With asset management, the cities aim to increase total revenue by at least 20 percent in 2019.

The SURGE project, now on its third year, assists the eight cities and adjacent localities in planning effectively, guaranteeing basic public services, reducing business transaction costs, promoting competitiveness, and supporting development while ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth. ICMA is USAID’s main implementing partner for the SURGE project.

For additional information, contact global@icma.org.

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