Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's a toss-up between Mayor Gordon and Sandoval

AS HOST FOR NEXT YEAR'S APILG MEET:

Two mayors from the Philippines-James Gordon of Olongapo City in Zambales province and Epifanio Sandoval of San Nicolas in Batangas province-are competing for the right to host next year's meeting of the Association of Pacific Islands Local Governments.

The two have presented their objectives and what their respective areas can offer before participants of the ongoing Second Annual Pacific Mayors' Conference yesterday, which was reduced from last year's 450 in Guam to just over a hundred this time on Saipan due to the economic downtrend and the threat of the H1N1 flu virus.

The AILG officers, led by Agana Heights, Guam Mayor Paul M. McDonald, have yet to decide on this and the result will be known before the end of the four-day conference.

The participants include 10 mayors and one vice mayor from Guam, two mayors from Kosrae, eight mayors, a vice mayor, and more than 20 municipal councilors from four provinces in Central and Southern Luzon.

They are currently on Tinian for a tour.

Gordon said they are excited about hosting the next edition of the conference but the decision is up to the APILG officers.

He said Olongapo City, which used to host a U.S. military base, can best offer the services for an international conference like this.

As expected, the mayor of neighboring town Castillejos, Wilma Billman, supports Gordon's bid, saying Olongapo City has the best hotels and has two convention centers.

“Participants would be able to see for themselves the Subic Naval base, which is close to Clark Air Base in Pampanga,” said Billman, who worked with two U.S. military bases in Subic and in Diego Garcia as a supervisor for a supplies department before entering politics as a councilor and now a mayor.

She said her town itself can offer skilled workers to the military buildup in Guam because most of the workers of South Korea's Hanjin, the biggest foreign company at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, are from her town.

“Olongapo is a highly urbanized and highly competitive city,” she said.

Sandoval said if Batangas wins the hosting job, the event will be held in Tagaytay.

He said Mayor McDonald is a frequent visitor of his province and he would try to talk with Gordon and the officers of APILG to award them the right to host.

“But we are willing to support whatever the result may be. The most important thing is that it will be held in the Philippines and it will be lesser costs for us,” he said.

McDonald, who is the president of the APILG, said the biggest issue they will face is funding because they will have to pay for the airfare of participants from Guam and the CNMI.

“We're hoping to get some private sponsors in the Philippines,” he said.

Communications giant Globe, he said, had offered already two years ago.


Mayors from the Philippines join Consul General Wilfredo DL. Maximo during the opening day of the Second Annual Pacific Mayors' Conference at the Hibiscus Hall of Fiesta Resort and Spa on May 14. From left are Mayors Wilma Billman of Castillejos, Marissa Reyes of Balete, Maximo, Michael Montenegro of Taal, Eulalio Alilio of Lemery, Epifanio Sandoval of San Nicolas, James Gordon of Olongapo and Eugenio Payonggayong of Hagonoy.
(Haidee V. Eugenio)
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oooppss... thank you ma'am
HI, this article was written by Nazario Rodriguez, Jr. and not Moneth Deposa as erroneously attributed to in the website. Just to clarify. thanks by alive@night

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1 Comments:

  • HI, this article was written by Nazario Rodriguez, Jr. and not Moneth Deposa as erroneously attributed to in the website. Just to clarify. thanks

    By Blogger alive@night, at 5/17/2009 9:55 AM  

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