Governor Hilario Davide lll arrived in Russia Sunday afternoon upon the invitation of Governor Georgy Poltavchenko to renew the twinning agreement between Cebu Province and St. Petersburg Administration.
“We are pleased to be here, finally, in the historic city of St. Petersburg to promote people-to-people connectivity,” said Davide, who mentioned that the trip has been postponed twice due to scheduling concerns.
Governor Poltavchenko expressed his gratitude for the “interest and attention to enhancing tight and fruitful cooperation between St. Petersburg and province of Cebu” in his letter to Davide. He is also optimistic that both will “effectively advance the dialogue on the broadest range of issues.”
Davide will discuss with his counterpart various areas of potential cooperation which were taken up during the recent visit of Ambassador Igor Khovaev of the Russian Federation together with Honorary Consul Armi Lopez Garcia in Capitol. These include educational exchanges, arts, culture and sports cooperation, tourism and investments promotion, and knowledge sharing on disaster preparedness, emergency response and crisis management.
“We are hopeful that this meeting will allow us to know each other better and improve connectivity between the two nations,’ said Davide. Ambassador Khovaev also mentioned that “this will serve as one of the platforms for the forthcoming visit of President Vladimir Putin and meeting with President Benigno Aquino lll during the November 2015 APEC Forum in Manila.
Khovaev said that “this visit to St. Petersburg and Moscow will be mentioned and highlighted in terms of regional cooperation among local governments of both countries.” The delegation will meet with the highest female politician in Russia, Mrs. Valentina Matviyenko, chairperson of the Federation Council and former governor of St. Petersburg. Ambassador Carlos Sorreta will also receive the delegation in the Philippine Embassy in Moscow.
Davide is thankful to Consul Armi Lopez-Garcia and former Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for initiating the agreement in June 2009. He is joined in the delegation by Provincial Board Member Joven Mondigo Jr., Mayor Democrito Mendoza, Mr. Lito Maderazo, and representatives of the private sector in Cebu.