INFORMATION BLITZ: Paalala sa mga OFW-members ng PhilHealth: Ang PhilHealth membership and contribution ay MANDATORY ayon sa batas kaya magpamiyembro at magbayad ng kontribusyon bago umalis ng bansa. Seguraduhin ang proteksyon ng kalusugan ng iyong sarili at pamilya.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dipolog, Parnas Municipal District of Russia ink sisterhood pact

By Mary May A. Abellon

Sisterhood symbolizes intimate relationship between siblings for them to cling to or rely on each other for support and help.

Sisterhood is not only present in our homes and in any organization but also between two or more local government units (LGUs) to foster mutual friendship and goodwill, and to nurture closer relationships between and among their constituents for closer social and cultural exchanges and economic ties.

Twin towns or sister cities are a form of legal and social agreement between towns, cities, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.

Historic signing

On January 29, 2015, a formal and historic signing of a sisterhood agreement between the city government of Dipolog and the Parnas Municipal District, St. Petersburg, Russia came to pass.

Mayor Evelyn T. Uy, pursuant to Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution No. 14-340, series of 2014 and Aleksi Vladimirovich Cherezov, head of Parnas Municipal District signed a memorandum of agreement marking the establishment of a sisterhood relationship between the two local governments at Top Plaza Hotel, Dipolog City.

Although situated too far from each other, the two places have shared a common desire to promote and foster strong ties, mutual understanding, friendship and goodwill.

“This historic event, we make things happen as the East meets the West,” Mayor Evelyn T. Uy said.

For his part, Aleksi Vladimirovich Cherezov expressed his gratitude for establishing the sisterhood relationship with Dipolog City.

“We are thankful for the signing of this sisterhood agreement. Our cooperation will develop our cultural ties while relying on each other and exchanging our experiences,” Cherezov pointed out.

Present during the historic signing were Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Y. Uy, city councilors, Armi Lopez-Garcia, honorary consul of the Russian Federation, Andrey Sapozhnikov, trade counsellor of the Russian Embassy, Elena Sergeeva, executive assistant to the Deputy Member of Russian Parliament Elena, barangay officials, and members of the media.

Stronger ties, mutual hopes and dreams

Dipolog City and the Parnas Municipal District aim to strengthen friendships and mutual understanding through exchanges in sciences and technology, culture and arts, tourism, planning and urban development, commerce, trade and industry, education and sports development, environmental protection, public health and social services, among others of common concern.

Both governments also seek to create an atmosphere in which socio-cultural development, business and economic growth can be implemented and strengthened through adoption and sharing of good practices of their respective places.

“This way our people can promote and showcase our history, education, culture and arts other than the economic, trade and industry and agriculture,” Mayor Uy stressed.

“Both sides can train and exchange education. In Dipolog, Russian can learn English language with our proficient teachers. On the other hand, in Russia we can learn their rich history, culture, arts, music and culinary,” she added.

“You will experience hospitality in Dipolog with love,” the lady mayor assured the Russian guests.

Honorary Consul Armi Lopez-Garcia of the Russian Federation, a Dipolognon, was responsible for making the sisterhood agreement between the two places possible.

She said that one of the reasons why Russian people adore and admire Filipinos is “our candid and genuine smiles that can be seen through our eyes,” adding “even during calamities we still manage to smile.”

Garcia also shared her views about Russia and things that capture her attention.
“The sense of culture and history in Russia is very strong. The government focused on children’s physical activity not only in nurturing them with education,” she stressed.

“They have cultural center for children offering free training on music, arts, culture, ballet and different kinds of sports,” she added.

Replicating good governance

Through this sisterhood agreement with the Parnas Municipal District, Dipolog City is hoping that years from now it can replicate the good governance and booming economy demonstrated by Parnas.

Mayor Uy said the first project the city government of Dipolog and Parnas are going to undertake is on exchange of culture and education.

“I’m very interested in the cultural center they have for children. In fact we have 50 organizations of artists. I would like to be like Russia in preserving our culture and arts,” the lady mayor stressed.

“Let our new generations experience our culture in order for us to be unique,” she added.

Meanwhile, Garcia bared that there are employment opportunities in Russia. “And I would like to prioritize Dipolognons because we have to choose the people we know and trust since the Overseas Filipino Workers are our front liners and ambassadors of goodwill,” she said.

According to her, those who will fly to Russia will have to undergo an extensive training on Russian culture and language.

“We would like to have exchange of students to learn in Russia,” Elena Sergeeva, executive assistant to the Deputy Member of Russian Parliament said.

“I believe that this sisterhood agreement is a great start of our friendship and cooperation,” she concluded.