Annual aid of Spain to Phl tops P1.8-B

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    Spanish Ambassador Domecq and Gov. Pineda are joined by (L-R) Board Members David-Dizon, and Dizon, Mayor Hizon, Board Member Laus and Vice Mayor Canlas during the ceremonial wreath-laying at the memorial to Spanish Governor General Simon de Anda at the Bacolor municipal hall on Monday.

    Photo by Joey Pavia

    BACOLOR, Pampanga – Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Don Jorge Domecq announced on Monday that Spain averaged at least P1.8 billion of yearly aid to the country over the past five years and it’s concentrated on health, education and governance.

    Domecq, in his speech during the celebration of the 250th founding anniversary of this former capital of the Spanish colonial government, disclosed that his country and the Philippines recently signed five agreements on education and sports developments amid the efforts of the European Union (EU) member to wiggle off the economic crisis affecting it since 2008.

    Domecq joined Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda, Mayor Jose Maria Hizon and Vice Mayor Ananais Canlas Jr., Board Members Monina Laus, Olga Frances “Fritzie” David-Dizon, Trina Dizon, Raul Macalino and Ric Yabut and retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Christie B. Datu, the former deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) whomis a native of this town, in one of the several activities lined up for the founding anniversary celebrations highlighted by the “Makatapak (Barefoot) Festival” set on November 17.

    Domecq described as “emotional” his visit and stressed he was “proud of representing my country.”

    Domecq also announced that courses about Spain and its language will be reintegrated back to secondary education and in some courses in college vocational levels.

    For her part, Pineda said she was happy and honoured when Domecg said the Capampangans were “loyal, brave and hardworking” particularly the soldiers who joined Spain in battles against British army beginning in the late 1700.

    Pineda said she will coordinate with Domecq for the improvement of education, health and governance in the province similar to their assistance to the country.

    In 1762, Spanish Governor General Simon de Anda established his base here two days after the British soldiers forced out Spain from Manila.

    Pineda and Domecq led the wreath-laying ceremony for Anda whose memorial at the Bacolor municipal hall was earlier unveiled.

    Mayor Hizon said “I am honoured and this will create a sense of history to our people.”

    Laus, who is a native of San Vicente, here, said “the people of Bacolor are not just kind but are proud when they talk about the history of our town.”

    Pampanga historian Francis Musni and Fr. Jess Manabat, parish priest of San Guillermo Parish established in 1576, toured Domecq in the historical areas in Bacolor, including the “Sacred Memories” museum at the Bacolor church where memorabilia of the town and church are stored for public viewing.

    Pineda, Hizon and Canlas joined Domecq in the tour on board a carriage. After the ceremonies at the town hall, they visited the Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University.

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