Kidapawan mayor asks Korean province to expand training courses in PH

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 20 Feb) – City Mayor Joseph Evangelista has recommended to the provincial government of Gangwon of South Korea to expand more of their training courses in the fields of education, health, and nutrition for developing countries in Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines.

Evangelista, a graduate in 2010 of a course in Sustainable Urban Management at the International Urban Training Center (IUTC) in Gangwon Province, last week spoke before global leaders and IUTC alumni from eight countries in Asia-Pacific at High I Hotel in Jeongseon, Korea.

Mayor Joseph Evangelista of Kidapawan City delivers his speech at the forum. Contributed photo

He led the Philippine delegation during the IUTC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum and Global Leaders Convention held last week in South Korea.

As an IUTC alumnus, he said the courses being offered by the IUTC were “very practical” and “highly applicable” to developing cities like Kidapawan, the capital of North Cotabato.

“[I know that] hundreds of IUTC alumni now in different countries make a difference in the lives of their countrymen… all because of [the training from] IUTC,” he said.

The IUTC, according to its webpage, is the world’s only local government-led international training institution of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) located in Gangwon-do, the site of this year’s Winter Olympics which closes on February 25.

It was established by the provincial government of Gangwon-do and the UN-HABITAT to strengthen the urbanization capacities of the cities of developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

One of the cities that availed of several IUTC courses since 2010 is Kidapawan City. It provided at least three training courses on solid waste management and eco-tourism development to leaders and members of the indigenous communities, tourism workers, and local government officials in the city.

It also provided a lumad village in Barangay Balabag, Kidapawan solar power for their houses.

In his speech, Evangelista asked IUTC and UN-HABITAT to expand their training modules and curriculum to include courses in health, education, and nutrition, “in the context of sustainable urban management and local economic activation.”

He urged IUTC to continue to “touch lives” and help make this earth a “better place to live in” through the courses they offered to people in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, and Mongolia.

“We all know that Gangwon Province is a champion in these programs. [I believe that] a healthy mind and a healthy body is the best resource a community must posses to ensure sustained development and inclusive growth for all of us,” he stressed.

Aside from Evangelista, the Philippine delegation to the forum included three medical doctors from North Cotabato and Albay provinces; representatives from the media, tourism council, and local water utility in Kidapawan City; and a government employee from Malinao, Albay. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)