The Cities of Valenzuela and Koronadal have forged a sisterhood agreement to foster favorable relations and cooperation between the two local government units and its constituency.
City Mayors Sherwin T. Gatchalian of Valenzuela and Peter Miguel, MD of Koronadal signed the Memorandum of Agreement at The Farm Convention Center in Koronadal City, Province of South Cotabato on October 7 during the latter’s 1st Negosyo Festival.
The sisterhood agreement stemmed out of a common desire of both cities to “devote unquantifiable concern and attention in promoting general welfare of their constituents.”
This was solidified through a resolution approved by the City Council of Koronadal last September 19. A counterpart resolution, authored by Valenzuela City District 1 Councilor Marlon Alejandrino, was similarly passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Valenzuela, paving the way towards Valenzuela’s first sister city in the Philippines.
The Memorandum of Agreement would mandate the creation of a “partnership group” composed of five members from each city. Its task is to “promote and expand an effective and mutually beneficial cooperation for the development (of both cities) as well as to foster meaningful technical exchange and cooperation for sustainable development, trade, investments, tourism, information technology, human development, as well as, culture and arts.”
Mayor WIN in an interview with local radio station DXKR-RMN Koronadal said that the new sister city is “safe, beautiful and has lots of potentials, especially with the tourism sector.”
He added in Filipino, “we are here to help and share our best practices [with Koronadal] and at the same time, we are also here to learn from our sister city.”
The two Chief Executives would be working closely together in strengthening further their respective sectors in education. Valenzuela City’s “Good Education is Good Governance” stance in education has reaped fruits as Valenzuela City placed Number 1 in the National Capital Region (NCR) the National Achievement Test for Elementary for School Year 2010-2011.
Mayor Miguel on the other hand shared that his city has embarked on social renewal initiatives through the Integrated Character Building Program (ICBP) which works on strengthening positive values and character of Koronadaleños.
Both cities, moreover, have been recognized for their accomplishments in governance and delivery of public services. Koronadal City earned the distinction of being named twice as the most competitive small-city by the Asian Institute of Management and also as the most business friendly city in Mindanao by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Department of Interior and Local Government, on the other hand, recognized Valenzuela City as the best-governed highly urbanized city in the country. The World Bank and International Finance Corp. likewise named the city as one of the most business friendly cities in the Philippines.
Koronadal City is the component capital city of South Cotabato and serves as business and tourism hub of Region 12 in Mindanao. It dwarfs Valenzuela six times in terms of land area at 277 square kilometers, but Koronadal is relatively less populated by up to three times at 184,500.
It is 1 hour and 45 minutes by plane via General Santos City and another 45 minutes of travel by land, passing picturesque plantation fields and vistas of genteel Mindanao countryside.
Both leaders expressed confidence that this newly minted partnership will be as fertile as the lands of Koronadal and as vibrant as Valenzuela.
South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy and Mindanao Development Authority Chairperson Lualhati Antonio came to witness the formal twinning ceremony which coincided with Koronadal City’s 11th Charter Anniversary.
Valenzuela City Councilors Marlon Alejandrino and Lailani Nolasco also attended the event with other South Cotabato and Koronadal government officials. Koronadal Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Danilo Ong, local businessmen and entrepreneurs, meanwhile, also graced the occasion.
Mayor WIN showed an audio visual presentation about the city with favorable responses from guests and prospective investors. Officials see this partnership to open doors for more opportunities and development.
Bucheon City of Gyeonggi Province in South Korea and the Municipality of Santa Cruz in Marinduque have an existing cooperation agreement with Valenzuela.