Iwata officials visit Dagupan for bilateral ties

The sister city relationship between Dagupan City and Iwata, Japan ushered in a new phase of relations after Iwata City officials visited Mayor Benjamin Lim anew on September 13 to discuss the possibility of economic, cultural and educational exchanges.

 ”They came to Dagupan not only to renew ties but to discuss the possibility of exchanges between businessmen, Rotary clubs and student exchanges,” said Mayor Lim.

 Lim noted that the sister city relationship between Dagupan and Iwata almost disappeared after the Marcos regime.

He further added that the bilateral relations entered in a new era after the city government of Iwata invited Mayor Lim along with five high school students to attend the celebration of their 30th anniversary of sisterhood ties on July 27 to 30 this year.

It was learned that Lim invited the presidents and past presidents of various Rotary Clubs based in the city to join the discussion that is expected to include their involvement in the establishment of a business partnership between the two cities.

The bilateral talks dwelled on the interest of both cities to establish a study exchange program for high school students.

 Both cities agreed to study thoroughly the planned educational exchange program before deciding on its eventual approval.

 Lim said that once approved, the qualified high school Dagupeño students will be sent to Iwata during their school vacation period from April to May.

“Just like the Milpitas study exchange program, this is another venue for the Dagupeño students to observe the academic environment and educational system of Japan as well as experience the culture of Japanese students,” Lim stressed.

 The Japanese officials informed Lim that they have already visited Dagupan City five years ago. (Leziel T. Cayabyab)

NHI experts survey 7 Dagupan landmarks

A team of experts from the National Historical Institute (NHI) arrived in Dagupan City on September 1 to gain new insights and perspectives about the city by visiting its 7 historical landmarks.

 The NHI group, headed by supervisor for history research Lorelei Deviana and history researcher Maria Luisa Valerio, both architects, surveyed the 7 sites as jointly recommended by the Dagupan Heritage Commission and Metro Dagupan Culture and Arts Council (MDCAC).

 Priority in their list of landmarks was the home economics building at the West Central Elementary School which General Douglas MacArthur used as temporary headquarters after landing at the Lingayen Gulf, in fulfillment of the “I shall return” promise he had made before leaving the Philippines for Australia to spearhead Allied preparations for the liberation of the Philippines and other Asia-Pacific countries from the Japanese. Next on their priority list was the Gabaldon Schoolhouse, also found at the West Central.

 According to Nora G. Siapno, MDCAC chairman, the history experts were amazed upon seeing the century-old buildings still standing erect and even survived the devastating earthquake 16 years ago.

 ”This is a major boost in our tourism landscape. Dagupan will surely benefit from the institute’s much needed expertise – assisting the city executives educate its citizenry and stakeholders on heritage conservation and preservation,” Mayor Lim said during the group’s courtesy call on him at his City Hall office.

 Other landmarks they toured were the City Hall, PNR station, Spanish and American stations, ancestral house of the De Venecias in Tambac and the landing site of General MacArthur in Bonuan Gueset, which is now a subject of controversy due to a landowner’s claim of ownership of the vicinity.

 ”We should follow great cities of the world where preservation, conservation and restoration of old structures are high on their priority list. Tourism has earned these cities enormous sums of money,” stressed Carmen Prieto of the heritage commission.

 Before departing, the NHI group thanked the city government for its warm reception and hospitality.Leziel T. Cayabyab

1st national Luzon agribusiness meeting set August 17

A meeting on the First North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle will take place in Leisure Coast, Dagupan City on August 17.

Presidential management staff (PMS) director general and designated champion for the North Luzon Super Region Arthur C. Yap will preside in the said meeting. Yap, whose mother is a Dagupeña, was the former secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

The meeting aims to discuss with local government units the commitment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to develop North Luzon as an agribusiness quadrangle as announced in her 2006 SONA and determine various areas of cooperation.

During the affair, various government agencies will report on the status of on-going programs in the Super Region as well as discuss measures to ensure their effective implementation.

Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim along with the city officials and other local executives are expected to attend the meeting and participate in the discussion of agribusiness projects.

The one-day meeting will tackle farm-to-market road projects, irrigation projects, post harvest facility, energy projects, airport projects, seaport projects and road and expressway projects.

Mayor Lim is expected to bring up for discussion the proposed Bangus Processing Plant, the flagship agribusiness program of the city. (CIO/Leziel T. Cayabyab)

2 LGUs want to replicate city programs

Afterwards, the group proceeded to the material recovery facilities (MRFs) of Barangay IV and Barangay Herrero-Perez to observe their implementation of R.A. 9003 or the solid waste management act.

According to Renomeron, he plans to replicate in his municipality the city’s MRFs, butterfly garden and communal nursery after their visit to the two barangays.

 The group also toured the city’s major river systems in barangays Pantal and Calmay where city agriculturist Emma Molina discussed the zonification and regulation of fish pens and fish cages in the city.

 Moreover, Mayor Codilla expressed his interest in learning more about the city’s dredging and declogging operations to minimize the recurrent flooding in some areas of Ormoc City.

 City tourism OIC Dea Que, city agriculturist Emma Molina and waste management division chief Reggie Ubando served as tour guides.

 Before departing, the two mayors thanked the city government for the warm reception and hospitality extended to his group.

 At present, a total of eight lakbay-aral groups have visited Dagupan City this year alone. Others were Sasmuan, Pampanga; Pilar, Capiz; Santiago, Isabela; Zamboanga City; Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur; and Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur. (Leziel T. Cayab

Fisherman rescues endangered specie

A critically endangered hawksbill turtle rescued by a fisherman from barangay Pugaro is surrendered to the city agriculture office on July 10 and is set for release in the open sea of the Lingayen Gulf by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

 According to Emma Molina, city agriculturist, the turtle is supposed to be released on Tuesday (July 11) but was delayed due to a bad weather condition spawned by typhoon “Florita.”

 Molina said that the about 4-year-old turtle, locally known as pawikan, is considered priceless as it is listed among the critically endangered marine species and believed to be on the verge of extinction.

 Based on the official measurement of CENRO employees, the turtle is 15 inches long and 13 inches wide.

 City administrator Raffy Baraan and Marlyn Banda, community environment and natural resources (CENRO) chief of protected area and wildlife section, attached a corresponding metal tag in its flippers for reference purposes to its would-be captors.

 Baraan said that the city government will give a special citation award to the fisherman who saved the endangered turtle identified as Nonong Narvasa.

 ”The incident shows that the fisherfolks in the city really care about our marine resources,” Baraan said.

According to Molina, the hunting and killing of marine turtles as well as disposing their meat or any of their by-products is punishable by law pursuant to Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act or R.A. 9147.

 She added that the national law for the protection of sea turtles imposes imprisonment and penalty to those found guilty of catching, selling and slaughtering the endangered aquatic creatures.

 Some of the listed endangered turtles include the green turtle, loggerhead turtle, leatherback turtle and olive ridley turtle. (Leziel T. Cayabyab)