Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cebu province inks sisterhood pact with Sichuan

Cebu, Philippines (07 June)—The province of Cebu signs a sisterhood pack with Sichuan, China with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as witness to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Chengdu province today. Governor Garcia is part of the President’s entourage in Chengdu when they meet with the businessmen there.

In an interview with the media before she left for China, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia earlier said that this is the second sisterhood agreement with China. The first was with Hainan province in January 2007 that talks on cooperation in trade, tourism and agriculture.

Garcia revealed that the agreement calls for exchange and cooperation in various forms in the fields of industry, agriculture, trade, science & technology, culture, education, sports, health, personnel, social welfare and other common interests gearing towards prosperity and development. The MOU is good for 5 years (until 2012).

The first sisterhood agreement brought in officials from Hainan that joined the 3-day Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbo countryside tourism program that brought them to see the beauty and tourism potentials of 21 Cebu towns.

According to the governor, the pact with Sichuan will open cooperation and collaboration in putting up developmental projects in various fields. Garcia said, Sichuan province is referred to as the “Land of Abundance,” with Chengdu as its capital that adopts a preferential policy as a coastal open city.

It is also considered as one of China’s major producer of grains that include wheat and rice and other commercial cash crops such as citrus fruits, peaches, sugarcane and sweet potatoes. It also has the largest output of pork and the second largest producer of silkworm cocoons in China.

China and the Philippines had strong bond that can easily be traced back from the time the country traded with the Chinese merchants in the 1500s and that bond has been translated into the country’s basic community trading and small businesses at the countryside.

During induction of the 2007national officers of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FFCCCII) at Malacanang recently, John Tan its newly elected president turned over to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a check worth P1.25-million for the purchase and construction of an additional 50 Tindahan Natin convenience stores to be put up in various areas of the country. This would bring to 175 the number of stores that had been donated by FFCCCII to the Arroyo administration since last year at a total cost of P3.125-million.

The organization also presented to PGMA a scale model of the 430 new school buildings or a total of 860 classrooms that the FFCCCII will donate to the government over the next two years. Tan reported that the school donation is part of the organization’s “Operation: Barrio Schools Program” that it launched in 1960. To date, the Chinese community has built more tan 3,800 schools in the various parts of the country. (PIA-Cebu/MBCN)

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