By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong T. Wee has unveiled plans that would link up Zamboanga City to Manado, the second largest city in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Ambassador Wee, who hails from this city, was honored by the city government headed by Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco during the flag-raising ceremony yesterday morning at the City Hall grounds for his contribution to the development of Zamboanga.
Considering the fragile peace and order situation in this part of the region, Wee said he would propose an anti-terrorism linkage through trainings between Zamboanga City and Manado.
Another plan is to open up a sisterhood agreement between Zamboanga and Manado, citing the commonalities of both cities in terms of tourism, education, health, and various other aspects.
“There are many things we can promote to Indonesia and in return we can bring in Indonesian investors,” Amb. Wee said in a tete-a-tete with City Administrator Apple Go, Rotarians and city officials at the City Mayor’s Office.
Another important linkage Zamboanga can establish with Indonesia, according to Ambassador Wee, is air link by opening up a direct flight for Zamboanga-Manado and vice-versa.
The ambassador said the air linkage would increase investment and tourism income for the city. He would request the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) to open the Zambo-Manado flight.
To make things happen, Ambassador Wee said the city must send a trade mission to Manado, Indonesia to further explore the areas of cooperation and exchanges between the two cities.
The trade mission is now being organized among local business and civic groups, hoping to launch the mission early next year. (Nonoy E. Lacson)