CEBU CITY, Philippines – Officials from Haarlemmermeer City, Netherlands are now in the Queen City of the South for a week-long Sister-City related activities.

The Dutch delegation comprising of 11 officials headed by Mayor Theo Weterings stayed in this city from November 12-18, 2016 and assisted by the Cebu City Government through its Protocol Office.

In a barbeque welcome dinner held on November 12 Saturday at Sugbo Grounds of South Road Properties, Mayor Weterings expressed his gratitude to the Cebu City Government for the continued partnership and sister-city relationship.

“We will be celebrating our 25th year of sister city relationship with Cebu City next year and we are grateful for the strong relationship that we have,” Mayor Weterings underscored, adding that it is their pleasure to help Cebu.

During the activity, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Councilors Margarita Osmeña, Nendell Hanz Abella, and Eugenio Gabuya, together with Protocol Officer Nagiel Bañacia, former City Councilor Alvin Dizon and Francisco Fernandez warmly welcomed the Dutch delegation.

In behalf of the city government here, Councilor Margarita Osmeña also thanked the Dutch delegation for their efforts in strengthening ties and exchanges with the sister city relationship of Cebu and Haarlemmermeer.

Scholars of former City Councilor Nestor Archival dubbed as “NA Scholars” also entertained the guests with their lively song and dance performances.

The Dutch delegation also went to the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) on November 13 Sunday and were impressed witnessing the live simulation on responding to a “Mass Casualty Incident due to Earthquake.” They also donated at least another 4 high technology Ambulances to ERUF worth P5.5 Million each and pledge for more support.

The delegates also enjoyed the tree-planting activity conducted on Monday morning November 14 in a mountainous part of Barangay Tisa this city and conducted the inspection to their funded Kapai Water Project located in the same village. They were also briefed on the YMX4 Aksyon Kabataan project with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated.

On the same day, the group proceeded to Carcar City for a site visit to another project they supported, the Conta Community Water Project. They also visited Carcar City Hall for a Courtesy Call with Mayor Nicepuro Apura.

The Dutch delegation will also visited Cebu City Medical Center, Barangay Cogon Ramos Central Health Center and Day Care Center and the Cebu City Hall for a Courtesy Calls with Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella.

Mayor Osmeña also treated the delegation in a sunset and moon-rise cruise with Cebu's sumptuous menu for their dinner passing along the Mactan Channel from the Cebu Yacht Club.

The group also visited Mandaue City for inspection and briefing with Habitat Housing Project and Courtesy Call with Mayor Luigi Quisumbing. They also attended the 50th Anniversary of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated (RAFI) at the Oakridge Pavilion.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma also met the Dutch delegation were the signing for the Memorandum of Agreement for the the micro-financing and livelihood assistance for the Women's sector in the Archdiocese of Cebu was conducted.

For the uninformed, the cities of Haarlemmermeer and Cebu are sister city for 24 years now pledging support to each other in the different advocacy, projects and programs in the fields of education, cultural exchange, health and emergency response and agriculture, among others.

A city from both countries are only allowed to have a sister-city relationship to only one city per country but both can extend assistance to other cities and municipalities in the same country.

Furthermore, the Haarlemmermeer Officials were also exposed to various programs and projects of the City of Cebu and other few nearby local government units. They also experienced the taste, culture, tradition and what Cebu can offer as they sojourned here. (By: Greggy Jiggs P. Senados, Cebu City Public Information Office)