November 13, 2009 10:00 ET

Canada Announces Support for Local Economic Development in the Philippines

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 13, 2009) - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced measures to support local economic development in communities across the Philippines.

"Local businesses are the engines that drive local economies. In supporting local government as an enabler for local business, the proper conditions for economic growth are put in place," said Minister Day during his visit to Manila. "By working together, the government and private sector can build sustainable local economies that result in more jobs, an expanded tax base to deliver social services, and poverty reduction."

The Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development project supports the Department of the Interior and Local Government in working with other national government agencies, as well as local governments, to streamline policies and make it easier to do business. The program also works with a number of communities to improve conditions for local economic development by improving corporate management practices and using market-oriented approaches.

The Government of Canada is providing $18 million to the project, which draws on Canadian expertise to support the development of the program.

The Canadian Urban Institute and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges are working with the Philippine Department of the Interior and Local Government to assist four Local Economic Development champions, comprising one province, three cities and 23 municipalities, to serve as models to be promoted and replicated throughout the Philippines.

Minister Day was in Manila to mark the 60th anniversary of Canada's diplomatic relations with the Philippines, where he promoted Canadian partnerships and commended rebuilding efforts after recent floods.

To view more information on Canada's development assistance in the country, please see Philippines: Canada's commitment (

Backgrounder - Economic Development in the Philippines

Sustainable economic growth in the Philippines requires the involvement and engagement of business and local communities. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is helping more than 600 municipalities to involve citizens and the private sector in planning and decision making to improve service delivery by local government.

The Local Government Support Program for Local Economic Development project enables this work to continue while linking it more closely to local economic development activities that will directly reduce poverty.

The project will target both the national and local levels. The national-level work will support national government agencies as they develop and implement policies that support the efforts of municipalities to improve their business environments. At the local level, with the assistance of Canadian partners including the Canadian Urban Institute and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the project will:

- increase transparency and accountability to provide citizens with a better understanding of how local government operates;

- support local governments in instituting corporate management principles to facilitate local economic development and enable the private sector to drive economic growth; and

- encourage public, business and non-governmental sector partners to work collectively to strengthen local economies to reduce poverty.

To help the project operate at the local level, 8 to 12 clusters of municipalities will form alliances. In this way, they will provide better advice to public and private sector organizations to enable them to develop and implement their economic plans and render the economic gains in their communities more tangible.

The clusters of municipalities will be organized into four local government alliances to be the most competitive and progressive, as well as the best positioned to advance sustainable economic development using good governance practices, and will become models for other initiatives. They will exchange experiences among themselves and with future clusters, supporting the replication and continuation of successful programming across the country.

In the long term, the project is expected to create better jobs and expanded tax bases, leading to increased revenue generation, improved services within local governments, and poverty reduction overall.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Trade
    and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
    Melisa Leclerc
    Director of Communications
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    Trade Media Relations Office
    Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jessica Fletcher
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office