Celso cites benefits of sisterhood pact PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 November 2012 14:29

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday underscored the significance of sisterhood agreements with other local government units stressing it would help enhance and accelerate performance of respective LGUs and communities as well.

Lobregat said this, as he led Thursday the signing of a sisterhood pact with the municipality of Paniqui, Tarlac led by Mayor Miguel Rivilla, in a red carpet ceremony held at the City Hall conference room.

Sister city and town relationships allow an exchange of cultural, commercial, industrial and tourist products and other fields of endeavour for both contracting cities or local government units—either on a national or international level—with the ultimate goal of strengthening ties of solidarity.

The Lobregat administration has so far forged 5 sisterhood agreements with local and foreign cities and municipalities—Dagupan City in 2005; Zaragoza, Spain in 2008; Trece Martires City, Cavite in 2009; Municipality of San Mateo, Rizal in June this year and Municipality of Paniqui Thursday.

Last August 31, 2009, Zamboanga renewed its ties with Baguio City which was originally forged on Nov. 23, 1996.

“We know that our local government units have much to learn from each other and that this will add a new dimension to both Zamboanga and Paniqui”, the mayor said in his message during the signing ceremony.

The Zaragoza, Spain sisterhood pact has resulted to an agreement between the Instituto Cervantes and the Western Mindanao State University focusing on activities related to the teaching and study of the Spanish language, Hispanic culture and literature and other areas which promote advancement of education and professional growth for the faculty and the students.

The establishment of the Plaza Pilar, the city’s pasalubong and one of the city’s main attractions is an idea borne out of the exchanges with Zaragoza. The facility is patterned after the main plaza located right in front of Basilica in Zaragoza.

The historical and very successful visit of the Queen of Spain to Zamboanga last July 4 was also an offshoot of the sister city relationship. Zamboanga was one of the only 3 cities in the country that Queen Sofia visited. 

From San Mateo, Rizal, Zamboanga learned about the strategies in the efficient and effective implementation of the land fill system, a project that is now underway in the city.

“And if Dagupan City has its bangus festival, Zamboanga also has its “Wow Sardinas”, a sardine eating spectacle staged during Fiesta Hermosa”, Lobregat said. The Bangus festival has inspired and motivated Zamboanga to also stage Wow Sardinas to highlight its title as the sardine capital of the Philippines.

“Indeed, Zamboanga has learned and discovered so much from our sister LGUs and sharing our blessings and best practices remains a responsibility”, the mayor stressed.

Paniqui, a first class municipality in Tarlac has tremendous potentials that can very well be a source of stimulation and motivation for Zamboanga City, according to Lobregat.

As Lobregat and Rivilla signed the sisterhood pact, Vice Mayors Cesar Iturralde and Genevieve Linsao stood as witnesses. Members of the City Council of Zamboanga and the municipal council of Paniqui, department heads from both LGUs and other guests including former Mayors Vicente Atilano II and Efren Arañez and members of the Council for Culture, Arts and History also attended the event.

The forging of the agreement was initiated by the Municipality of Paniqui as a show of gratitude to Zamboanga’s generosity during times of crisis.

Based on the sisterhood agreement, the people of both Zamboanga and Paniqui 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 governance” and “agree to encourage and foster goodwill and friendship, inter-LGU visits of city officials and executives, associations and residents of the Municipality of Paniqui and the City of Zamboanga.” — Sheila Covarrubias