(BIVN) – A sister-city relationship between Hawaii Island and Filipino municipality of Cabugao is in the works.
The Hawaii County Council Committee On Governmental Relations And Economic Development on Thursday approved a resolution (res. 228-17) that will authorizes Mayor Harry Kim to formally establish the sister-city relationship with the city in the Province of Ilocos Sur.
The county already has another sister-city in the Philippines. The relationship with Ormoc was established on September 14, 2011, with a focus on their shared interest in geothermal energy. But as Romel Dela Cruz testified at the hearing held in the Kona council chamber, the relationship with Cabugao goes back to the sugar plantation days.
The language of the resolution details the connection:
WHEREAS, the Mayor ofthe County of Hawaii and the Hawaii County Council have jointly promoted a Sister-City program to foster friendship and understanding among all of the world, particularly those in the Pacific Basin; and
WHEREAS, viable and meaningful Sister-City relationships benefit the people of the affiliated cities through the exchange of cultural exhibits, educational programs, agricultural pursuits, information relative to economic development of mutual interest, and other matters of common interest; and
WHEREAS, contact has been made between government officials of the Municipality of Cabugao, Province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines and the County of Hawai`i to discuss the establishment of a Sister-City relationship between the Municipality of Cabugao, and the County of Hawai`i; and
WHEREAS, the Municipality of Cabugao, and Hawai`i Island share commonalities, as Cabugao and Hawai`i Island mutually promote trade, tourism, culture, agriculture, and education; and
WHEREAS, an outline highlighting the history and demographics of the Municipality of Cabugao, Province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines is attached hereto as Exhibit A and by this reference made a part hereof; and
WHEREAS, the Municipality of Cabugao is located near the ocean, and like Hawai`i Island, relies on the economies oftourism and agriculture to support its population; and
WHEREAS, the first wave of Ilocano migrants, also known as Sakadas, came to Hawaii in 1906 to work as laborers in sugar and pineapple plantations and have historically been referred to as Hawayanos; and
WHEREAS, the last wave of Sakadas were recruited in 1946 by the Hawai`i Sugar Planters’ Association to bring new labor to break an anticipated strike that was expected to occur; and
WHEREAS, residents of Hawai`i County and the people of the Municipality of Cabugao have long-standing established ties based upon shared customs, traditions, and cultures; and
WHEREAS, the communities of both the County of Hawai`i and the Municipality of Cabugao mutually support the beneficial exchanges of information and opportunities to promote business principles and methodologies in the areas of tourism, agriculture, education, and aquaculture; and
WHEREAS, this resolution will be augmented with written covenants between the mayors of both the County of Hawai`i and the Municipality of Cabugao, Province of Ilocos Sur to be supported additionally with a signed service agreement citing agreed responsibilities for the County of Hawai`i, and the sister-city sponsor, Big Island Filipino Community Council (BIFCC); now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII that pursuant to Chapter 2, Article 31, Section 2- 165 of the Hawai`i County Code 1983 (2016 Edition, as amended), that it hereby authorizes the Mayor to formalize a Sister-City program between the County of Hawai`i and the good people of the Municipality of Cabugao, Province of Ilocos Sur.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the County Clerk shall transmit copies of this resolution to the Honorable Mayor Harry Kim, the Honorable Mayor Josh Edward S. Cobangbang of the Municipality of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, Philippines, Collins Tomei, Director of the Department ofFinance, and Rose Bautista, County ofHawai`i Sister-City Protocol Officer.
The resolution will next go before the full council for final approval.