Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano Forges Links with Mayor Stephen Bali of Blacktown City in Australia

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Mayor Maria Laarni “Lani” Cayetano with Blacktown City Mayor Stephen Bali in Sydney on March 17

26 March 2018 SYDNEY — Mayor Laarni “Lani” Lopez-Cayetano met with Blacktown City Mayor Stephen Bali at the Sheraton on the Park in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on March 17.

Blacktown City hosts the highest concentration of Filipinos in Australia, with about seven percent of the population having Filipino ancestry. In recognition of the close cultural affinity between Blacktown City and the Philippines, the City entered into a partnership agreement with the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) in 2010.

Mayor Cayetano, the current Chairperson of the LCP, and Mayor Bali expressed optimism that the agreement signed in 2010 will lead to greater cooperation between Blacktown City and individual cities in the Philippines, particularly in the areas of trade, investments and cultural exchanges. Currently, the League has a membership of over 143 cities.

Mayor Bali looked forward to replicating with partner-cities in the Philippines Blacktown City’s ongoing programs with its sister cities, Daegu City, South Korea and Liaocheng City, China, including exchanges of visits of business and government delegations to strengthen cultural and economic ties. Mayor Cayetano noted that this opportunity for increased engagement with Blacktown City is consistent with Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive for Philippine cities to take bold steps in directly encouraging foreign direct investments. Towards this end, Mayor Cayetano informed Mayor Bali of her initiatives to foster links with foreign governments including facilitating international linkages and sister-city arrangements.

Mayors Cayetano and Bali found common ground in their respective cities’ focus on sports and youth development and look forward to collaborating in the future in this field, including joint development of sports facilities. Mayor Cayetano shared that among other major sporting events, Taguig City will host a regional Palarong Pambansa tilt and is expected to be one of the venues of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games to be hosted by the Philippines. On the other hand, Blacktown City has a strong sports development program that feeds into the highly-regarded national sports program of Australia that has consistently produced world-class athletes across many disciplines.

Both Mayors found similarities between Taguig City and Blacktown City, as both serve as economic drivers in the major growth areas of Metro Manila and New South Wales, respectively. Mayor Bali noted and congratulated Mayor Cayetano on the very impressive growth indicators of Taguig City, including its high economic growth rate, high literacy rate, and low tax rate. END

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From left PH side: Mr. Dexter Estacio, Consul Jim San Agustin, Mayor Lani Cayetano, Labor Attache Rodolfo Sabulao, and Ms Erlinda Albay. Blacktown City side: Mayor Stephen Bali and Mr. Greg McCallum