NAGA CITY --- City Mayor John Bongat of this city and Saan Fernando City (La Union) Mayor Hermenegildo A. Gualberto, and their respective vice mayors and city councilors in a joint session led the signing Sisterhood Agreement Wednesday (May 30) morning at La Piazza of Avenue Plaza Hotel here.
This is the second time that Naga City signed a sisterhood agreement with a city from the Ilocos region, the first having been forged with the Heritage City of Vigan in Ilocos Sur last May 22, 2017.
In his message after the formal signing, Mayor Bongat said that the sisterhood agreement “will bind us together as ardent partners, both as dynamic cities helping each other toward inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development.”
He said that the occasion becomes even more meaningful because the City of San Fernando in La Union has become the first sister city while Naga is celebrating its Platinum year as a chartered city.
Naga, he told his guests, is in the thick of preparations for a grand celebration of its 70th year since it was declared a chartered city, the first to be declared as such in Bicol and one of the few in the country.
He hailed both the cities of San Fernando and Naga for espousing good citizenship, good governance, and participative collaboration and partnership among its peoples.
In his sponsorship speech, City Councilor Jose ‘Sonny’ Ranola said that despite the physical distance between the two cities, “the Sisterhood Agreement will provide for us the shortest and closest way to strengthen our camaraderie and friendship and enrich further the similarities of our cultural heritage and noble purpose for the betterment of our fellow citizens.”
He said that through the sisterhood agreement, the two cities pledge to continue to transform their respective cities into pockets of peace and prosperity, efficient city management and good governance.
Under the agreement, both cities pledge to undertake the following programs: official visits between each other’s city officials, promotion of economic cooperation, commerce and investment, education, arts and culture, expert exchange program, cross visits or study tours, tourism promotion, sectoral exchanges, exchange of rare plants, naming of streets after Naga City and San Fernando, and other project proposals that will offer mutual benefit and people-to-people relations between the two cities.
San Fernando Mayor Gualberto in his message revealed that both Bicolanos and Ilocanos in San Fernando have agreed to mobilize each other so that the feast day of Our Lady of Penafrancia may also be held every September in San Fernando City.
San Fernando City in La Union is the regional administrative center of the Ilocos Region (Region 1). It is also otherwise known as “A People’s City.”
It was founded in 1786 and named after Saint Ferdinand III of Castille, Spain.
It has a population of 121,812 as of the 2015 census. With a total land area of 10,272 hectares, the city is composed of 59 barangays.
It is mainly agricultural with rice, legumes, leafy vegetables, root crops fruit trees, corn and tobacco as its main crops.
Fishing in its coastline is a secondary source of livelihood. “Patopat” is the city’s native delicacy, which is made of “agdapil” or sugarcane.
It was declared a most business friendly LGU in 2015 and Seal of Good Governance Awardee.
In 2013, it won first prize as best in eGov Empowerment during the 2nd Jesse Robredo Awards for Excellence in IT for Good Governance of the DILG. jbp