TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Welcomed by the traditional Empanada dance performed by selected students of City of Batac National High School- Payao Campus, delegates from Tabuk City led by City Mayor Ferdinand Tubban met with officials and employees of Batch City, September 22 at the Batac City Hall.
To provide opportunity between the two local government units to embark on joint ventures on tourism, trade and investment, the two sister LGUs agreed to continue friendship and sustain partnership for a more progressive local economy which impacts the lives of their respective constituents.
Mutually beneficial to both LGUs forged into a sister-city relationship on December 16, 2014, friendship and partnership will engage into exchange of best practices, agricultural and non-agricultural products and other forms of developments.
In a formal ceremony held at the Batac City Conference Hall, Merlyn Gorospe , Batac Tourism Officer, in her opening message said that Batac City is called the Home of Great Leaders because it is where the prominent and influential Filipino leaders dwelled such as Gregorio Aglipay, the father of Philippine Independent Church; Artemio Recarte, the father of Philippine Army; and former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Batac City Vice Mayor Jeffrey Nalupta, who described Tabuk as an interesting place, in his message said among the Tabuk delegates that Batac is their home away from Tabuk.
Nalupta, who was bursting in joy for the visit said that Tabuk is four times larger than Batac in terms of land area but the two cities share similar features such as on developing public work projects for public consumption which he said is one of the priorities of the two sister-cities indicated in their respective Urban Master Plan for the next 50 years,
The vice mayor also said that Batac has a large transient and day time population because it is where the biggest university in Ilocos Norte and one of the biggest in Northern Luzon is situated, the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) with a 300-acre land area and approximately 12,000 students from the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao, Ilocos Sur and Abra.
He also mentioned that it is also in Batac where the most modern medical center is found where patients come to seek medical help which contribute to dynamic local economy.
‘’We make the most out of our lands by using it productively’’, he said.
He also disclosed that the City has generated P100M from its local economy. From this figure, he added that the two cities can learn from each other in terms of development planning.
‘’Batac and Tabuk share a part of history for being sister- cities for four years now. Let us treat each other as forever friends,’’ he informed.
Batac City Mayor Albert Chua said that it is the welfare of every LGU to look after the welfare of its people through sustained partnership and development projects.
‘’Much have been done by the city government towards improvement and safety such as installation of security cameras and on programs on disaster, environment, health and other basic social services’’, the city mayor said.
Chua also said that the visit of LGU Tabuk is an exchange of experience and expertise to provide better services to their own constituents.
Tubban, in his reply extolled the sister-city relationship of Tabuk with Batac which he believes that their partnership can facilitate to better economic opportunity such as exchange of products through the One Town, One Product.
He also commended Batac for investing on the education of its people through allocation of bigger funds for scholarship grants.
The two sister LGUs wished for hopes and gains for the future.
By Darwin S. Serion