President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad


To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
August 2017 Issue

Last July 19, Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Cardozo Luna shared with us the security policies of the Duterte Administration amidst Marawi crisis and the Martial Law in Mindanao. Unfortunately, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Jr. was not able to grace the event due to an emergency meeting that he has to attend.

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Transpacific partnership
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J. Albert GamboaBy J. Albert Gamboa

BUSINESS WORLD(FINEX Folio)
July 7, 2017

Transpacific partnership

FINEX Folio is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Friday in BusinessWorld, opinion section.

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – An economic alliance of 12 countries on both sides of the Pacific Ocean may have been scuttled by the US government's withdrawal following the change of administration early this year. But another transpacific partnership is about to blossom.

The local government units (LGUs) of Bacolod City in Negros Occidental and this port city on America's West Coast are re-launching their sister city relationship in simple ceremonies at the One World Trade Center here over the weekend.

Bacolod's City Administrator John Orola, together with Councilors Em Legaspi-Ang and Caesar Distrito, are in town to meet with their Long Beach counterparts led by Tyler Curley, the Legislative Deputy of Mayor Robert Garcia, and Dr. Mary Barton, Chairperson of the Sister Cities of Long Beach, Inc.

Ms. Legaspi-Ang, who also chairs the Bacolod Tourism Committee, will present the city's 10-year economic development plan, while Mr. Orola is formally inviting the officials of Long Beach to the world-famous Masskara Festival in October, on behalf of Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Originally established in 1994, these two progressive LGUs' bilateral ties became dormant for almost two decades. Upon the initiatives of Joe Gamboa, a US citizen based in California, and Joey Montalvo, who heads a Negros-based advocacy group, the relationship has been revived through the Long Beach-Bacolod Association, Inc. (LBBAI).

Last April, the Bacolod City Council passed a resolution approving the re-activation of sister city relations with Long Beach, whose own legislative council endorsed the long-awaited revival through a similar process shortly thereafter.

Synergies abound in this newfound friendship between the Philippines' sugar capital and the Pacific gateway to America. There is a large Filipino-American community in Long Beach and the Greater Los Angeles area, with many coming from the four Visayan regions including a sizeable number from Bacolod and the Negros Island Region.

Long Beach hosts the biggest seaport along the US West Coast, while one of the busiest aviation hubs in central Philippines is the Bacolod-Silay International Airport located within the Metro Bacolod area.

Both cities are recognized as educational centers in their respective regions. The California State University at Long Beach is eager to have student exchange programs with the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos and the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod.

Dr. Barton emphasized the cross-cultural benefits to be derived from having bilateral relations among LGUs from different continents. She said each city, county, or state is allowed to have a maximum of 10 foreign counterparts under the auspices of Sister Cities International (SCI) headquartered in Washington, DC.

US President Dwight Eisenhower created SCI in 1956 during the White House conference on citizen diplomacy. This non-partisan, non-profit network serves as the national membership organization for 545 American cities, counties, and states with 2,121 partnerships in 145 countries on six continents.

SCI's 61st annual conference and leadership summit will be held on July 13-15 at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Virginia Beach in the state of Virginia. Its theme for 2017 is "Global Communities for World Peace" to honor Mr. Eisenhower's original vision of fostering global peace through people-to-people relations.

A trade and investment delegation from the Fil-Am community in Southern California will attend this year's Masskara Festival, which was founded by the late Bacolod City Mayor Jose Montalvo, Jr. in 1980.

Plans are also afoot for the LBBAI's staging of the first-ever "Masskara sa Long Beach" event in April 2018, with visiting delegates from the private and public sectors of Bacolod in attendance.

In celebration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day last June 12 and the 241st American Independence Day on the Fourth of July, here's to a fruitful and productive relationship between the cities of Bacolod and Long Beach!

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