San Mateo mayor vows to help Zambo tourism PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 June 2012 14:40

San Mateo Municipal Mayor Rafael Diaz yesterday underscored the significance of the sisterhood agreement that he forged with the city of Zamboanga through Mayor Celso Lobregat, as he expressed intentions to help promote the city’s tourism.

“You can count on San Mateo to become the campaign manager of Zamboanguenos on the other side of the Philippines”, Mayor Diaz said in an interview after signing the sisterhood agreement, stressing “we can now include Zamboanga as a veritable (tourist) destination”

Mayor Diaz and his vice mayor, Bartolome Rivera Jr. and 11 other members of the Sangguniang Bayan and the municipal government arrived in Zamboanga June 22 in time for the sisterhood agreement yesterday, June 23 highlighting the Zamboanga celebration of Dia de Fundancion de Chabacano.

The mayor admitted that hearing and reading all the news about Zamboanga City and the neighboring areas would give one the impression that the city is not a safe place. However, he said: “Iba ang Zamboanga, pag napuntahan mo na, pag hindi pa may misconceptions ka and you might not have clear understanding of what a great city Zamboanga is. But when you come here, napakaganda, we will be back here, I assure you that”.

The San Mateo chief executive also likened Zamboanga City to New Orleans and the only area that was able to preserve a high level of cultural integrity which, he said, is gradually diminishing in most areas.

“I am very proud of the Zamboanguenos, especially Mayor Celso Lobregat because he has revitalized Zamboanga and I appreciate the vision and I can see clearly the way he wants Zamboanga to become in the future”, Mayor Diaz declared.

Mayor Diaz and his delegation toured the different attractions and industrial sites of the city. The group also graced the Gran Concierto of the Zamboanga Hermosa Chorale Friday night and the Noche Cultural, the culminating event of the Dia de Fundacion de Chabacano celebration, held at the National Museum Courtyard Saturday night.

The formal signing of the sisterhood agreement between Zamboanga City and San Mateo Municipality was held at the City Hall conference room amidst a red carpet reception for the visiting officials.

Mayor Lobregat signed the agreement on behalf of the City of Zamboanga while Mayor Diaz signed on behalf of San Mateo. Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and his counterpart Vice Mayor Rivera stood as witnesses to the signing event.

Based on the sisterhood agreement, the people of both the Zamboanga and San Mateo local government units “agree to collaborate for the mutual benefit of their communities by exploring, educational, economic and cultural opportunities and by sharing technology in the fields of commerce and industry.

Both parties likewise agree to “support and encourage opportunities for mutually beneficial and practical exchanges in the fields of business, arts and culture, health, science, education, sports, tourism and local governance; agree to exchange constructive ideas and best practices in local governance to increase both LGUs’ knowledge and understanding in effectively managing various facets of city governance” and “agree to encourage and foster goodwill and friendship, inter-LGU visits of city officials and executives, associations and residents of the City of Zamboanga and Municipality of San Mateo.”

The other members of the San Mateo delegation are Councilors Norberto Salen, Rogelio San Miguel, Angel Antonio, Froilan Sales, Reynaldo Rivera and Mark Ian Buenviaje, Liga ng mga Barangay President Joel Diaz, Mr. Ruben Suegay, Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Cristina Cabusay, Ms. Ma. Armida Galano and Municipal Administrator Ric Gomez.

Present during the signing ceremony were Zamboanga City Councilors Abdurahman Nuno, Lilia Nuno, Myra Paz Abubakar, Rudy Lim, Percival Ramos, VP Elago, Rey Candido, Rogelio Valesco Jr., Mike Alavar, Nonong Guingona, Eddie Saavedra, Luis Biel III and Rudy Bayot. — Sheila Covarrubias