GFCP delivery partner secures business continuity plan to aid in Cebu City’s development

The Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP) for Cebu City is set to continue until the end of 2022. After a landmark first visit in November 2021, the Cebu delivery team found themselves back in the city with one thing in mind: Progress. The primary purpose of the visit, held from 28 February to 2 March 2022, was to secure approvals for delivered outputs. Namely, the City Development Strategy (CDS), an Affordable housing Strategy (AHS) and a Social Situation impact analysis (SSIA). On top of this, the team began exploratory planning with city authorities for the continuation of the programme until the next financial year.

Meeting with Mayor Michael Rama

First on the agenda was to meet Cebu City’s incumbent mayor, Michael Rama. The two-hour conversation with the mayor and his officials covered a wide range of topics, including a discussion of the outputs delivered and a programme continuity proposal focusing on climate-resilient housing and coastal infrastructure development until December 2022. There was also a lengthy discussion on the mayor’s approval of the programme, with him citing their own City Development agenda and his support for the 21 Flagship programme as a testament to his vision of a “Smart, climate-resilient, globally competitive Cebu”.

Discussion with mayor

Discussion with Mayor Michael Rama, Engr. Suzanne Ardosa (City Administrator), Dr Anthony Aguhar (Assistant City Administrator), Cherrie Nuez (FCDO), Christian Lauron, Junisse Mercado, Allen Williams and Jerome Crockett (GFCP Cebu Delivery Team)
Source: GFCP Cebu City Intervention, 2022

Meeting with Cebu City Officials

The Cebu delivery team met with Mayor Michael Rama’s appointed working group. Held in three subsequent meetings, the dialogue was mainly on the delivered outputs and a presentation of the proposed continuity plan until the end of the year. After further discussion, both parties agreed to work together, and a counterpart team was developed.

SDG Transition Workshop

The SDG Transition workshop facilitated by UN-Habitat allowed both parties to share their insights on the proposed continuity plan, focusing on resilient housing and coastal development through developing the city’s main rivers. The Cebu delivery team introduced the delivered outputs, mainly, the CDS and AHS, while Cebu City presented their initial Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) to show a clearer path moving forward.

Meeting with the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)

The Region 7 offices of the NHA and DPWH will play an essential role in aligning activities of the continuity proposal with the city’s agenda.

The NHA made known their alignment with the CDS and the AHS, as well as the development of a plan for climate-resilient housing and infrastructure. Both parties agreed to the proposal and to identify priority areas to tackle, mainly, socialized housing plans, the city’s major housing problem, and strategic improvements and upgrades.

Regional officials of the DPWH bought in on the proposed plan, citing their support for the delivered outputs, their ongoing projects with detailed engineering designs, and continued improvement works in line with their Cebu City masterplan. As discussions ensued, one major problem was identified: The implementation mechanisms between the LGUs and DPWH. They have personally asked for a strategy that would improve the coordination between the two parties.

The Cebu delivery team ultimately secured buy-ins from the top regional officials of both the NHA and the DPWH.

Discussion with stakeholders

Discussion with Cebu City Government stakeholders, Cherrie Nuez (FCDO), Christian Lauron, Jerome Crockett, Junisse Mercado, Allen Williams and Vince Docta (GFCP Cebu Delivery Team)
Source: GFCP Cebu City Intervention, 2022

technical working group meeting

Discussion with Cebu City Government Technical Working Group, Cherrie Nuez (FCDO), Jerome Crockett, Junisse Mercado, Allen Williams and Vince Docta (GFCP Cebu Delivery Team)
Source: GFCP Cebu City Intervention, 2022

The events that transpired during this recent Cebu City visit proves that persistence is vital in development. From the delivery team’s willingness to go above and beyond expectations, to the city’s evident determination to change for the better, it is safe to assume that Cebu City and its people have a bright future.


Mott MacDonald (MM)


Republic of the Philippines




Strategy & Planning

Data Systems


Jerome Crockett

Project Management Supervisor/Urban Infrastructure Specialist, Global Future Cities Programme, Cebu Philippines

Jeron Miranda

Monitoring, Reporting, Learning and Evaluation Officer, Cebu Philippines