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Iloilo City sets parameters on sister city ties

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An act establishing rules for local government units (LGUs) interested in pursuing twinning relations or sister-city partnerships has been passed by the municipal administration.

“I heard that there are so many municipalities and cities that would like to benchmark our city especially as we are a ‘Galing Pook’ Awardee and other accolades. It’s making it easier for them to know what we require of them, at the same time we benchmark with other cities, we already know what we have to observe and give to other cities,” Sangguniang Panlungsod committee on domestic and international relations chairperson and ordinance author Councilor Candice Magdalane Tupas said on Wednesday.

In the legislation voted during their normal session last week, she noted that interested LGUs need to compile their municipality or city profile, a resolution from their local council, a letter of purpose signed by their mayor, and support from other organizations and associations.

The development of the sister or twinning ties is more of a “mutualistic event” so if the LGUs wanted to benchmark with initiatives of the city, then it would be easier in terms of access, Tupas said in an interview.

“We can share our best practices easily,” she noted.

If the local government provides education funding, then these can be shared between the sister city.

She added sister cities may also quickly offer support when necessary such as during times of tragedies.

To oversee the implementation of the rule, Tupas announced that a Sisterhood Advisory Council headed by the city mayor will be constituted to look into the letters of intent.

“Our sisterhood would also be double-checked by the Sisterhood Advisory Council. Now the number of foreign relations is at 30 and local relations is at 11. The sisterhood extends back to the 1960s and 1970s thus there is agreement that could have lapsed,” Tupas remarked.

The council will consider whether the agreement will be reaffirmed or merely have it lapsed.

Tupas noted that she will be passing a resolution to renew the city’s twinning agreement with Quezon City.

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