ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 15 July) — The cities of Davao and Zamboanga signed in formal ceremonies on Thursday morning a sisterhood agreement to bolster inter-city cooperation for mutual benefits.
Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio signed the agreement or “Acuerdo de Hermandad” on behalf of their respective local governments “to create and fortify an open communicative atmosphere to induce a heightened exchange of ideas,” specifically in the fields of tourism and culture, agriculture, and trade and commerce.
“In God’s perfect timing we finally sign the Sisterhood Agreement which began in the time of Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte when the officials of Zamboanga City were invited to Davao. It has been close to six years,” Climaco recalled during the signing ceremony at Zamboanga City Hall.
Davao has been helping Zamboanga in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic by donating two RT-PCR machines.
A local medical technologist who was sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine-Davao has passed the proficiency test required for the city’s modular laboratory.
Climaco cited that a community of Zamboangueños in Davao celebrated the Feast of the La Virgen del Pilar, Zamboanga’s patron, “which is valuable to Zamboangueños.”
The two mayors flew together to the United States as delegates to the International Visitors Leadership Program in 2018 for a two-week fellowship along with leaders from other countries.
“We have been blessed to be part of the US Government’s IVLP Program and continue to respond to security, health and learn from each other to respond to crisis and emergencies. Davao’s 911 is a template for Zamboanga and other LGUs. A Zamboangueño, Mr. Jaldon is in charge,” Climaco said.
“We are learning from each other in responding to man-made and natural disasters,” she added.
“Know that Davao City will always be beside you in the fight against the pandemic, poverty and criminalization,” Duterte said.
The Zamboanga-Davao sisterhood agreement is the fourth for the city under the Climaco administration. The other sister cities are Guigang Municipal Government of the People’s Republic of China (October 24, 2016), Puerto Princesa City (October 11, 2018) and Isabela City (October 11, 2017).
Two other agreements – one with Dezhou City, People’s Republic of China and Manado City, Indonesia have been proposed and are on the pipeline, Climaco said. (Frencie L. Carreon/MindaNews)