Cambodian officials, NGOs here for a 2-day study tour
Top government officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia and some Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) headed by His Excellency Lim Hor-Director General for Land Use Planning recently visited the city for a 2-day tour to see the developments in this emerging eco-tourism and business hub in the country and learn how good governance works wonders for the people.
Mayor Hernani A. Braganza was on hand in welcoming the honored guest during the latter’s courtesy call at the City Hall’s conference room before heading to Manila to catch his scheduled flight for Haikou City, China where he will be attending the “East Asian Sea Congress 2006”
“In behalf of the very grateful city, we warmly welcome you to the home of the world famous Hundred Islands,” said the youthful Mayor in his brief remarks even as he apologized to the dignitaries that he could not personally tour them around the city due to a prior commitment.Organized by Marija de Wijn, Project Coordinator of the Administration Reform and Decentralization of the Cambodian German Government Cooperation (GTZ) and Bert Peeters, a Belgian study tour consultant, this 10-day Cambodian Tour focused on more gaining knowledge on the Philippines’ decentralization process and on its crafting and the implementation of its natural resource management programs.
“Consider Alaminos as your city, your second home and we hope you enjoy your stay here and revisit our city in the future as we look forward in contributing in the realization of your worthy objectives for your beloved country.”
Peeters said the delegation is composed of mostly Deputy Directors from different ministries and three NGOs namely the Farmer Nature Network, the National Association of Commune Councils, and the Female Councils Forum.
Aside from Alaminos, the group will be heading to other places key to their training course like Camp Nacar, Quezon to discuss about Task Force RealNa’s current thrusts on the protection of conservation and management of the Sierra Madre mountain range.
The group will also meet the Ikalahan tribal community in Brgy. Imugan,Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya and see the efforts made to properly manage and cultivate the natural resources of the ancestral domain claim.
And finally, a glimpse of model city in Metro Manila on their final day as they visit Marikina City and learn more on the local government’s natural resource management initiatives.
Interestingly, Alaminos and Marikina are sister cities both working towards the attainment of its vision of a global metropolis in the next 10-15 years.
Over the past few years, the Cambodian government has taken giant strides in decentralizing its powers and in deconcentrating its functions to sub national levels of government.
The government has the so-called Seila program which is managed by Task Force Seila under the Council for Development of Cambodia.
So far, the program has been instrumental in much of the efforts in mobilizing and harmonizing donor funds to support local government reform through decentralization and de-concentration with the aim to reduce poverty for Cambodian’s people.
At the forum held at Pension House, Lucap Warf, City Administrator Wilmer S. Panabang led city officials in the presentation of the. currents programs of the Braganza administration as well as the city’s development master plan.
The delegates were very dynamic in the lengthy exchange of views and insights with their counterparts here and were so eager to learn about the local government operations in the country.
They are also interested on pros and cons on having a local autonomy, on solving crimes, the judicial system as well as other programs to achieve sustainable national development.
Nhem-Sovanna, Technical Assistant for Seila program and who acted as the group’s official interpreter, lauded the programs and visions of the city.
He also hailed the local government on investing on the protection and conservation of the environmental which he believed will bear good fruit citing that the cityfolks and the government here are working and living in harmony.
The half-day healthy discussion ended on a positive note as the Cambodian officials vowed to adopt the best practices of the city in their pursuit in building a better nation.
And as a token of appreciation and gratitude for the warm hospitality accorded to his group and for the great contributions tendered to their government, His Excellency Lim Hor handed a gift and some souvenir items from Cambodia to the City Mayor which was received by City Administrator Panabang. (CIO)