PGMA hosts lunch for San Francisco Committee
Manila (15 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo hosted last Friday, February 12, 2010, a luncheon at the Palace for the 103-man delegation of the San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee, which has been supporting the Philippines in arts, culture, education, and infrastructure for the past 26 years.
Accompanied to the Palace by Consul General to San Francisco Marciano Paynor Jr., the delegation was headed by Dennis Normandy, the Civil Service Commissioner of San Francisco City; Presidential adviser Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara; tycoon Lucio Tan; and members of the Concepcion family.
During the luncheon, the President thanked the committee for the support it has given the Philippines, particularly in education and literacy improvement which include:
- Donating $1 million in cash to assist in the rehabilitation of Intramuros;
- Giving a $500,000 grant to Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila for a professorial chair in the restoration of arts and culture;
- Organizing an environmental briefing; and
- Signing a memorandum of agreement between California and Philippine companies for the production and manufacture of waste management systems.
"This sister city committee is not one of those that come in for political or socio-cultural exchanges alone; It also has trade and environment projects," Paynor said.
"The delegation could have been bigger if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wanted to be part of it, were not bogged down at home by budgetary issues," Paynor stressed.
One of the committee's long standing programs is the Books for the Barrios, which has provided 12 million books nationwide. The committee has also created 26 centers of excellence in which they brought in educators who trained trainers to teach local schools, including the Emilio Aguinaldo Elementary School. (PIA-MMIO) [top]