Issue of November 12, 2017
     
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2017
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Baguio strengthens ties with sister–cities
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS -- Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan joins other local chief executives in the Hangzhou International Sister City Mayors Conference on City and Innovation 2017 in Hangzhou, China recently. Included in the matters discussed, which involves Baguio’s interest are the electronic or online payments of taxes and other fees. -- Ryan Mangusan

Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Wednesday reported on the outcome of the three sister city events abroad which he attended from Oct. 18 to Nov. 6.

The mayor said he and the delegations from the city were able to firm up exchange programs and activities with officials of Hangzhou, Baguio’s sister city in China, Vaughan in Ontario, Canada and Vallejo in California, U.S.A. during the three-leg trip.

In Hangzhou, the mayor said they participated in brainstorming, dialogue, and cooperative activities with Hangzhou Mayor Xu Liyi and other leaders during the Hangzhou International Sister City Mayors’ Conference on City and Innovation 2017. 

The conference, which ran from Oct. 18 to 22, featured a forum on city and innovation and signing ceremonies on innovation initiative, friendship city agreement, and sister city forest planting with panel discussions on electronic commerce, smart city, and culture and branding. 

The mayor said he negotiated with Hangzhou officials the possibility of sending medical practitioners to train and learn the latest techniques on acupuncture for adoption at the City Health and Services Office.

In Vaughan, Baguio’s sister city in Ontario, Canada, the delegation attended the 20th anniversary program and activities of twinning of the two cities from Oct. 24 to 29 spearheaded by the Filipino-Canadian Association of Vaughan under Erlinda Insigne.

The mayor said they exchanged updates with the Vaughan city officials led by Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua on the current state of affairs of Baguio and Vaughan with the local delegation being apprised of the advances in Vaughan’s innovative pursuits.

They had fellowship with the BIBAK-Toronto chapter members where the mayor had the opportunity to talk about updates on issues such as autonomy and federalism.

In Vallejo, the mayor said they participated in the finalization of the plans for the 25th anniversary celebration of the sisterhood in 2018 with the Vallejo Sister Cities Association Inc. and Vallejo-Baguio Sister Cities Committee chaired by Dinah Villanueva-Ryan.

The mayor said there is a possibility that the twinning anniversary celebration will be held in Baguio with the attendance of Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan, its first Filipino mayor who hails from Binalonan, Pangasinan and former mayor Anthony Intintoli, the mayor at the time the sisterhood was established.

He said the delegation worked out the donation of 70 computers to the city’s schools and explored the possibility of a student exchange program. 

The mayor arrived from the tour on Nov. 8.


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