UN-Habitat Philippines and Arcadis have chosen Iloilo City to be a model partner in their aim to produce more resilient projects in the metropolis.
Top executives of the two organizations paid a courtesy visit to Mayor Jose Espinosa III at City Hall Nov. 8 to present their shelter program relative to future plans and projects here.
“We are very fortunate and thankful to be chosen as benchmark and beneficiary of future projects. This is a validation of our outstanding good governance to make the city’s growth inclusive and resilient for the benefit of the Ilonggos,” Espinosa said.
“There’s a big potential for new projects and more resilient development in Iloilo, and it’s clear the city is grasping the opportunities and making the city a better place,” Bert Smolders, Arcadis shelter program manager said.
Smolders saw the improvement of the city such as promotion of biking, integrated urban water management and nature-based solutions.
“That’s exactly the topics that we had been discussing and studying together over the last few years focusing on nature and habitat to see how the city can be more resilience,” Smolders said.
Smolders cited the Iloilo River Development Project in conserving the waterway.
“I’ve been here a few years ago and you see the difference, the change especially the relations with the water. The city and especially the mayor are doing a great job bringing the identity of the city back to the water because that’s the main thing, the river and the sea fronts,” he stressed.
UN-Habitat Philippines brought five partner cities including Angeles, Ormoc, Legazpi, Cagayan de Oro and Tagum to see the best practices of the city Nov. 6-7.
“Iloilo is our partner city for many projects before so that’s why we thought that our current partner cities will learn a lot. But also we would like to see how far Iloilo has advanced over the years. And we can really see over time, Iloilo has improved so much and that’s why it serves as a new inspiration to our partner cities,” Christopher Rollo, UN-Habitat Philippines programme manager said. (John Michael Ramos/Iloilo City PIO)