(Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo “Cris” Garbo receives a memento (Tuna) from General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera shortly after signing a sisterhood pact during the weeklong 21st Tuna Festival in General Santos. Also in photo Vice Mayor Geld Aquino and Angeles City Councilor Jose Ponce)
GENERAL SANTOS – Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo and General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera last week forged a sister city agreement which will push for the opening of direct flights out of Clark and GenSan, or vice versa.
The pact was signed after the culmination of the weeklong 21st Tuna Festival held at General Santos, attended by a delegation from Mabalacat City led by Mayor Garbo.
“The agreement covers the opening of direct flights that will help trim down the costs and time of travel for tourists and business traders, as well as facilitate faster movement of commodities between the two areas, particularly shipments of tuna products from the city to the markets in Clark, Mabalacat and even neighboring regions here and abroad,” Garbo said.
It was also discussed that Clark appears to be a viable “jump-off point” for fresh tuna to Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, the United States, and Europe. Also, the demand for tuna products in Pampanga and Luzon restos has been also increasing, especially for sashimi-first grade tuna.
The pact between Mabalacat City and GenSan City aims to open more trade and tourism exchanges and promote greater understanding and goodwill.
Meantime, Rivera also signed separate MOUs for sisterhood with the cities of Angeles and San Fernando.
Angeles was represented by City Councilor Jose Ponce, and San Fernando by City Councilor Benedict Lagman.
Another MOU was also forged between the city and the CDC, through its president Noel Manankil.
The move was an offshoot of the city’s engagements with Clark stakeholders during its investment, trade, and tourism mission in the area last June.
Moreover, the pact stressed that establishing a sister city relationship will serve to promote and foster mutually beneficial exchanges. It is also expected to strengthen bilateral support between the cities.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by the city council headed by Mabalacat City Vice Mayor Atty. Geld Aquino, SP members Krizannel “Winwin” Garbo, Jun Castro, Elizabeth Pineda, Nino Delos Reyes, Victor “Cocoy” Tiglao, Jerry Magsino, Dwight Morales, Carl Dizon, Marjorie Sambo, Ruvelaine Margarito, and Hans Balingit and GenSan’s Vice Mayor Loreto B. Acharon and other city employees.
GenSan is Mabalacat City’s first of many sister cities.