Negros Occidental, Pampanga now sister provinces
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The provinces of Negros Occidental and Pampanga signed a sisterhood agreement to boost economic and trade relations with each other.
The agreement was signed by Governors Alfredo Marañon Jr of Negros Occidental and Lilia Pineda of Pampanga at the provincial capitol of Bacolod City on Friday, December 15.
The signing of the pact was also witnessed by provincial officials of both governments.
The governors said their provinces have many things in common, such as food and livelihood programs.
According to Marañon, the sisterhood pact is a "win-win" situation for both provinces, where the governments can "learn from each other" and benefit constituents. (READ: Inasal, desserts, seafood: What to eat on your Bacolod food trip)
He said the strength of Negros Occidental lies in aquaculture, adding that Negrenses could teach their counterparts about their best practices.
Marañon also said Negrenses can promote seafood such as prawns, blue crabs, and danggit (dried fish), and livestock such as lamb to Pampanga. "This is one of the few items we can supply them," he added.
"She (Pineda) tasted our lamb and she seemed to like it, it's tender. She was surprised we can produce lamb here. This is one product we can reduce the cost and at the same time give livelihood to the Negrenses," he said.
"This is just the beginning of a better future," Marañon added as he looked forward to learning about Pampanga's furniture and tourism industries.
Meanwhile, Pineda said there are many Pampangueños who are living now in Negros Occidental as there are many Negrenses who are based in her province.
She also said that she wanted to follow the programs implemented by Negros Occidental aside from aquaculture.
For her part, Pineda said they could send a team of skilled furniture-makers from their province to help in training manpower in Negros Occidental, as Pampangueño builders are now exporting furniture products to Europe. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Pinoy craftsmanship at PH Int'l Furniture Show 2014)
On Sunday, December 17, the Negrense delegation led by Marañon will visit their counterparts in Pampanga.
Under the sisterhood pact, both parties agreed to deepen ties and encourage understanding and awareness of the uniqueness of their respective provinces.
The parties also agreed to lend mutual held and support to advance the welfare of the people of both provinces.
The agreement also said that parties shall create programs, projects, and activities that will promote fellowship between the two provinces, and will continuously foster improvement and development.
Both parties shall regularly meet and hold dialogues on issues of common concern and interest.
It was also agreed upon to send representatives that will conduct exchange visits in order to have an actual interchange of views and experiences.
Moreover, the pact stressed that establishing a sister province relationship will serve to promote and foster mutually beneficial exchanges. It is also expected to strengthen bilateral support between the two provinces. – Rappler.com