Koronadal eyes sisterhood ties with Valenzuela

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/31 August) – The city government here is pushing for the forging of a sisterhood agreement with the industrial city of Valenzuela in Metro Manila in a bid to further enhance the area’s trade and investment prospects.
City Mayor Peter Miguel said the local government has initiated discussions with officials of Valenzuela City for the signing of proposed formal linkages between the two local governments and their stakeholders.
He said Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian sent personnel from its public information office to visit this city earlier this month and hold initial talks regarding the planned sisterhood deal.
“We’re very optimistic with this move because we’re tying up with an established industrial city that has a solid record in terms of local governance and implementation of various socio-economic programs,” the mayor said.
Miguel said they expect to learn and eventually adopt some programs being implemented by the local government of Valenzuela, especially with its business or trade facilitation and tax collection activities.
In terms of tax collection, he said Valenzuela City’s local revenues have steadily improved in the past several years, allowing the local government to allocate substantial funds for infrastructure and basic social services.
According to Valenzuela City’s official website, the tax reforms initiated by the city government has improved its revenue collection and increased taxpayers’ confidence in the local administration.
From a total annual income of P900 million in 2004, Valenzuela City was able to increase its revenues to P2.1 billion in five years.
Valenzuela, which is a first class highly-urbanized city, earlier adopted a comprehensive population management program that has so far helped reduce the city’s annual birth rate by 60 percent.
“They also have an effective housing program that we might be able to replicate here later on,” Miguel said.
For its part, the mayor said the city government may offer the area’s vast experiences in agricultural production and the implementation of its environment-related programs and policies.
He said Valenzuela may also look at various products and resources that are available in the city for possible future exchanges.
“Every city or locality has its own strengths and weaknesses. We’re going to look into these and find the possible areas where we can help each other out,” Miguel said.
The mayor said they will further discuss the details of the proposed sisterhood agreement when Valenzuela officials would visit the city in October.
He said the local government has invited Mayor Gatchalian to grace the city’s 11th charter anniversary on October 8. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)