FOR the first time, the province of Tarlac was invited to the Asia-Pacific City Summit special edition that was attended by global leaders, via zoom, last October 27 and 28 to discuss the various solutions to urban problems that confront the Asia-Pacific region most especially, the major impact brought about by the pandemic of COVID-19.
Governor Susan Yap, who was the only local chief executive from the Philippines to be invited joined the two-day zoom conference on October 27 and discussed her urbanization programs and the province’ fight against COVID-19.
The governor joined the parallel session titled “Innovation for Improving Citizen’s Conditions to Leave No One Behind” and presented the province’ disaster resilience and response, infrastructure development, education, COVID-19 response, among others.
In the October 27 afternoon session, Gov. Yap was represented by Provincial Planning and Development Officer Krishna Buenaventura.
United Nations-Habitat for Asia and the Pacific Regional Representative Koresawa Atsushi, the co-host of the summit welcomed the participation of world leaders.
“While urbanization can be an engine for economic development, uncontrolled urbanization generates a variety of social and environmental problems. The United Nations has developed various international policy frameworks including the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said adding that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a serious impact on the international society, countries and cities and is posing various challenges such as the widening disparities among cities and communities, deterioration of urban economic activities and municipal finances, and deterioration of living environments.
For her part, Gov. Yap said that her participation to the Asia-Pacific Summit is a testament that the province of Tarlac is now recognized globally as one of the fastest growing economies in the country.
“They have seen our efforts to uplift the economic situation of our province. Balancing the environment and urbanization is the province’ goal. They have likewise seen our efforts in fighting the dreaded COVID-19,” the governor said.