Building bridges
Local Government

Building bridges

San Pedro City forges sisterhood with Camalig, Albay LGU

Mar 13, 2024, 2:07 AM
Catherine Go

Catherine Go


“Sisterhood agreements” have effectively promoted cultural and economic growth among various local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines.

As San Pedro City Mayor Art Mercado himself has noted, such initiatives can be considered as a form of “para-diplomacy,” or an informal effort made by LGUs to share “best practices” towards a shared goal of socio-economic progress.

That’s what the local governments of San Pedro City, Laguna, and Camalig, Albay hope to achieve as the two LGUs signed a memorandum of agreement affirming their status as “sister LGUs” last March 1.

San Pedro City Mayor Mercado and Vice Mayor Ina Olivarez joined Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo, Jr. and Vice Mayor Maria Ahdrail Baldo at the ceremonial signing of the sisterhood agreement at the San Pedro City Hall last March 1.

Also present during the ceremony were members of the local councils of San Pedro City and Camalig, as well as various officials from the two LGUs.

The memorandum of agreement aims to foster partnerships between the two LGUs in the fields of economic and infrastructure cooperation, commerce and investment facilitation, education and arts promotion, knowledge transfer, tourism and cultural affairs enhancements, disaster relief and emergency response, local peace and order collaboration, and cross-visitations.

Camalig, Albay is situated 12 kilometers from the provincial capital of Legazpi City and is now a part of the growing Legazpi metropolitan hub.

The town is noted not only for its picturesque view of the Mayon Volcano but also for its signature dish called “pinangat” (which Metro Manila residents call “laing,”) a hot-chili vegetable dish of gabi leaves cooked in coconut milk and mixed with select spices.

Sharing of ‘best practices’

In his speech during the event, Mercado said that it was a “great honor” for the City of San Pedro to become “sister LGUs” with one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Albay province.

"The local government of San Pedro is hopeful that this sisterhood agreement with the municipality of Camalig will be fruitful and engaging to both parties," the city mayor stressed. “We believe that our communities will have meaningful exchanges in the field of good governance, and learn together from our ‘best practices’ to improve our services and thus work together for the common good.”

Meanwhile, Mercado also expressed his hopes that the San Pedro city government can learn from Camalig’s “best practices” especially in the sectors of culture, tourism, and disaster risk reduction and management.

“In short, we can learn from each other in so many ways. We look forward to greater political, cultural, and economic ties with the municipality of Camalig. May this sisterhood agreement bring the best in our LGUs, so that we may contribute to the development of our country,” he emphasized.


For his part, Camalig Mayor Baldo drew parallels between San Pedro City and his municipality to emphasize how the two LGUs have much to learn from each other.

Like how San Pedro City grew from a sleepy agricultural town on the edge of Metro Manila to becoming one of the fastest-growing residential, industrial, and commercial hubs in Laguna province, the mayor of Camalig he was pointed out how his town had also benefited from the economic progress of the nearby city of Legazpi.

“Isa po sa mga dahilan kung bakit po kami naririto ay gusto po nating maging katulad ng San Pedro. We are here to learn from you; we are here because we are inspired by you,” Baldo pointed out.
“We believe this sisterhood agreement is a significant step towards realizing our aspirations for Camalig's future. We in Camalig are excited to embark on a similar journey towards growth and transformation,” he added.

After the MOA signing, the City Government took the Camalig-LGU on a short trip to San Pedro Apostol Church, CDDRMO Operations Center, Lolo Uweng Shrine, and Sampaguita Nursery Farm to proudly show the rich culture of San Pedro City.

#WeTakeAStand #OpinYon #CamaligAlbayandSanPedroLagunaSisterhood #MayorArtMercado #MayorCarlosIrwinBaldoJr

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