ONE PANGASINAN ALLIANCE OF LGUs get development boost from Canada
Alaminos City and the six local government units (LGUs) in Western Pangasinan also known as One Pangasinan Alliance of LGUs (OPAL) were rewarded for coming together, their syndicated efforts and common vision that will change the lives of their constituents forever.
Yesterday was the historic day for OPAL as the Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED) was formally launched during a ceremony at the Vistas Delas Islas Resort in Barangay Lucap here.
LGSP-LED is the eight-year collaborative project between the governments of Canada and the Philippines for of Western Pangasinan.
Funded by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the launching of the project entitled “An OPALescent Vision – Laying the Groundwork for Sustainable Economic Development in Western Pangasinan” was highlighted by the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the project partners namely Canadian Executing Agency (CEA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region I and OPAL.
A host of key officials from the DILG headed by Undersecretary Austere Panadero, Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) May Wong, Head of Cooperation and First Secretary (Development) and Canadian Executing Agency’s (CEA) Marion Villanueva, Canadian Field Director, and Herman Ongkiko, Program Manager of the LGSP-LED, led the program’s launch together with local chief executives of the Municipalities of Anda, Agno, Bani, Burgos, Mabini, Sual and the host city, which compose the OPAL.
OPAL is getting technical support and assistance from the La Liga Policy Institute (LLPI), a non-government organization organized in 2000 by a group of social reformers with extensive experience in government, civil society and private sector work in implementing the project.
The Phase I of the project will run for 15 months and will cover a total of 150 barangays within OPAL.
Lone recipient in Luzon
OPAL was recently chosen as one of four LGU alliances in the country to receive said foreign grant from Canada.
It is also the lone LGU-alliance in Luzon area that earned the nod of the CIDA. Other recipients of the multi-million project are Bohol, Zamboanga del Norte and Guimaras.
Secretary Wong, in her message, extended her warm congratulations to member-LGUs of OPAL.
“Like other applicants, OPAL faced extremely stiff competition when it underwent the rigorous process of selection, validation and selection,” she said.
According to her, the selection process was designed to identify the “most competitive and most advance” LGU alliances for local economic development.
Usec. Panadero added that the selection process not just about good presentation.
“Somebody really came here, validated what the alliance is saying and they have determined whether it is ready or not,” he added.
“And there findings is that OPAL is ready and raring to go. So congratulations to all of you from Secretary Ronnie Puno for your outstanding achievement for having been selected for this grant.”
Picture of change
Wong said that the purpose of the project is to strengthen local government and stimulate local economic development.
“We perceive your economic alliance as a picture of change and champions of local economic development,” she stressed.
“As one of the four selected alliances in the country, the success of our collaborative endeavor will emerge as an essential contribution to strengthen our environment for effective governance,” she added.
OPAL’s priority as outlined its proposal is an innovative approach were the communities work together to stimulate sustainable agriculture development.
And in a limited time-frame of 15 months with OPAL, CIDA hopes to see then concrete and tangible results in sustainable agriculture development and other major project components.