Editorial: Sisterhood

ONE day, two friendship agreements.

That was Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio's highlight yesterday when she signed separate agreements with Jinjiang City of China and the County of Kaua'i of Hawaii.

"The agreements we entered today show that Davao City is friends with everyone," Mayor Duterte-Carpio said after the signing of the sister city agreement with the Kaua'i County on Monday.

The sisterhood pact came after the visit of Kaua'i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. last year.

Earlier, the mayor signed a Letter of Intent with Jinjiang City of China for the establishment of a friendly relationship that is hoped to lead to a sisterhood agreement between the two cities in the future.

The signing was done in the presence of a Chinese delegation headed by Jinjiang City Deputy Mayor Li Zili.

Sisterhood agreements are long-term cooperative relationships between two cities or townships from different countries with the aim of cultural, educational, business, and technical exchanges.

At present, Davao City has sisterhood pacts with Nanning in China, Manado and Pekanbaru in Indonesia, Koror in Palau, Panama City in Panama, Vladivostok in Russia, Keelung in Taiwan, and Tacoma in Washington State, US. It has friendship pacts with Uijeonbu and Incheon in South Korea. And also has sisterhood agreements with Baguio, Manila, Cebu City, Bayugan, Cotabato City, Zamboanga City, Legazpi in Albay, Bacoor in Cavite, and San Juan, Metro Manila.

Many of these agreements, however, have not gone beyond the signing and initial exchanges. But that is because in a sisterhood agreement these exchanges have to be planned out and implemented to bring mutual benefit to both partners.

What if the city will push for these exchanges and ensure that benefits are derived from all these? How much will the city gain from these in terms of networking, cooperation, business, and the development of finer things like arts and culture?

With the city enjoying a popularity like never before, maybe it's time that the City exhaust everything it can harvest from such agreements to bring opportunities for its people. That should make for lively external relations, shouldn't it?
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