Friday, May 20, 2011

German government renews support for Central Visayas

German government renews support for Central Visayas
By Ehda M. Dagooc 
The Freeman
May 20, 2011

CEBU, Philippines -  The Federal government of Germany through the organization that supports enterprise development GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) is re-committing its expertise support development to Central Visayas region.

Bringing together the expertise DED (German Development Service), the GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) and the InWent-Capacity Building International, Germany, the group that will now be put in one umbrella called GIZ, will be officially launch another support program in partnership with different government agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The formal re- launching to be held today will be led by GIZ deputy country director Philipp Quitmann.

Together with its partners from the national, provincial and municipal levels, GIZ has been implementing programs in Region 7 for more than two decades now, strengthening the capacity of people and their organizations in achieving sustainable development by balancing economic and social, and ecological interests through multi participation and collaboration.

The Decentralization Program (DP), Private Sector Promotion Program (PSP), Sustainable Economic Development Program, Community based Forest and Mangrove Management Project, the Solid Waste Management for LGUs (SWM4LGUs) Project of the Environment and Rural Development (EnRD) Program, and the Strategic Corporate-Community Partnerships for Local Development Program (SCOPE) of GIZ are joint development interventions currently in place and operating in Region 7. These programs are comprehensive, extensive and integrated, with expertise provided by GIZ and highly qualified development workers.

From policy advocacy and strategic steering to fiscal management; natural resources governance to capacity development of local government units (LGUs); community-based forest and coastal management to improving business sectors through expanding markets, GIZ aims at helping alleviate poverty, improve the lives of Filipinos, and pave the way for a sustainable economic future for the region.

Improving the environment for investments in Region 7 was supported the Private Sector Promotion (PSP) program of DTI and GIZ. This entailed streamlining systems and processes, capacity development of multi-stakeholders in analysis, planning and implementing of strategies and different interventions in all four provinces of Region 7 thereby improving competitiveness.

The collaboration of the Decentralization Program, Private Sector Promotion Program, DTI, DILG and local government units (LGUs) led to the streamlining of business permit and licensing system (BPLS) in all four provinces of Region 7.   The pilot municipality of Barili in Cebu best illustrates the BPLS success where today, business permit renewal only takes 30 minutes compared to three days earlier. Business tax revenues rose to 55 percent from 2008 to 2009.

The BPLS success, now replicated all over the Visayan region is a big step towards sustainability of good local governance and financial management. Faster business application processes and greater transparency consequently mean more investors and increase in municipal revenues which then translate to more developmental and infrastructural projects, further investments, and more jobs for Filipinos.

Furthermore, the BPLS micro success in region 7 and the Visayas gave birth to the nationwide Streamlining BPLS Program launched by the Aquino government in August 2010, reducing business steps from an average of 15 down to just 5, and a unified and single application form to replace a handful of paperwork.

GIZ through its experienced development workers operating within the Private Sector Promotion Program provide support to improve the performance of micro, small and medium enterprises through capacity development of business development service providers (BDS) such as the Local Export Experts of the Philexport.

GIZ in partnership with DTI promotes the use of the Value Chain approach in developing upgrading strategies for industry sectors, including tourism in Region 7.

The Strategic-Corporate-Community Partnerships Program in cooperation with PBSP introduces a new approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that is aligned to the core-business of companies and works along their value chains. The goal of SCOPE is to embed the community as a supplier of services or semi-processed goods into the company’s supply chain to create a mutually beneficial and sustainable cooperation. Through more than 35 implemented SCOPE projects, entrepreneurs achieved developmental impact and invested more in environmental and social standards.

In Negros Oriental, GIZ’s Community-based Forest and Mangrove Management Project supports the rehabilitation of the forest and mangrove cover, agro-forestry measures for improving livelihoods, and the conservation of biodiversity and the adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

A total of P40 million was granted by GIZ for 2,489 hectares in four LGUs for reforestation measures, agro-forestry, assisted natural regeneration, enrichment planting, mangrove rehabilitation, and rehabilitation of farm to market roads, water system, small water impounding projects and the establishment of inland aqua-culture facility. An additional P20 million grant was given in 2010 for 1,142 more hectares of reforestation measures.