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MinDA, int’l body agree to help Mindanao LGUs

Local government units (LGUs} in Mindanao will have a helping hand in the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in the formulation of their programs, including finding fund sources.

This was after the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the UNOPS signed a memorandum of understanding to capacitate LGUs in implementing projects, said Secretary Maria Belen S. Acosta, MinDA chair, on Wednesday when the agreement was signed.

The partnership, Acosta said will help LGUs in preparing their projects by providing them assistance in technical or other aspects, as well as help them access funding for these projects.

Acosta said the technical assistance is important because “they will need project preparation guidelines because overseas development assistance (in case projects need international funding sources) would be very particular in terms of paperwork.”

With the help of UNOPS, MinDA, the agency specifically mandated not only to ensure growth in Mindanao but also to assist LGUs in their programs, will have a partner in implementing its mandates concerning LGUs.

Oscar Leonel Marenco Ruiz, UNOPS country manager, said that the two agencies will craft a set of policies that will identify projects that will be attractive to funding agencies. “Sometimes the lack of funding is not a problem. The project is the lack of projects that can be financed,” said Ruiz.

The two parties, he said, will focus on setting up a “project preparation facility” which is necessary for the implementation of projects as this will help LGUs to ensure the realization of their projects” said Ruiz said.

In April, the two agencies will showcase to American donors the projects in Mindanao as the initial goal is to raise $10 million for the project preparation facility.

Ruiz said projects need “to be selected and aligned with the specific development goals” as he identified the sectors that need to be given priority as “energy, food security, and transportation.”

Under their agreement, the partners will cooperate on;

–          Technical assistance in infrastructure master planning and project priority identification;

–          Considering possible mechanisms for the development of infrastructure projects, which could include project selection, technical studies and concept design, development of tender documentation, and promotion;

–          Technical assistance and advisory projects for infrastructure projects;

–          Technical assistance after project tender, to support project implementation through project management, supervision, monitoring, and evaluation;

–          And, capacity building.

 

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