Spanish envoy leads dignitaries in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 April 2016 15:09

By VIC LARATO

The city government on Friday rolled out the red carpet at City Hall to welcome visiting Spanish dignitaries led by Ambassador Luis Calvo.

As in the past visits of foreign dignitaries, Mayor Beng Climaco played gracious host to the Spanish envoy and his entourage in a breakfast meeting at City Hall conference room.

In the meeting, the chief executive exchanged pleasantries and tokens with the Spanish dignitaries and she also briefed them on the updates of the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (Z3R) Projects under the “Build Back Better Zamboanga” strategy.

Climaco also took the opportunity to personally express her deepest gratitude to the Spanish government through Ambassador Calvo for its humanitarian assistance to thousands of families and individuals, including children, displaced by the Zamboanga siege in 2013.

The Spanish government through the Spanish Development Cooperation, “La Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), is one of several foreign donors to the city’s recovery program in partnership the United Nations.

After their breakfast meeting, Ambassador Calvo and company visited the transitory sites for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Masepla in Mampang with 1,330 families and Mariki Elementary School with 50 families.

Joining the ambassador was the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Latin American Affairs, Jesus Manuel Gracia Aldaz, who holds the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabel the Catholic and the Grand Cross of the Order of May of Argentina.

A career diplomat since 1985, Aldaz has an extensive experience in Latin American affairs, having been ambassador to Cuba (2001-2004) and deputy head of Mission in Buenos Aires (2011-2012), among others.

Also with the group was the Spanish Honorary Consul of Zamboanga City, Ramon Balaguer, who coordinated the ambassador’s visit to Zamboanga with City Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Sarita Sebastian-Hernandez. — Vic Larato