Kaua‘i Mayor, Kauaians visiting Urdaneta

LIHU‘E — Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. departed Wednesday on a cultural and economic visit to the Philippine Islands, a county news release states.
Joining him on the journey are Economic Development Director George Costa and Kaui Tanaka, administrative aide to the mayor and sister city coordinator for the county.
A group of Kaua‘i residents with ties to the Philippines will also be accompanying the mayor. They include Jimmy Iloreta and Edwin Navarro, who will be representing the Kaua‘i Filipino Community Council and Kaua‘i Filipino Chamber of Commerce, and Orlando Mateo, representative of Laoag Saranay.
“This will be my first trip to the Philippines and I look forward to meeting with their government and community leaders and fostering cultural relations,” Carvalho said in the release. “It’s also a great opportunity for us to explore economic development opportunities for Kaua‘i.”
The first government official that the mayor will meet with is Rolando Acosta, assistant secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, which is responsible for promoting peace and order and ensuring public safety.
On the same day, the mayor and Costa will be manning a booth sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines at the Philippine Travel Agencies Association’s 18th annual Travel Tour Expo, which is considered to be the largest gathering of travel agencies, tour operators, local and international tourism organizations, hotels, resorts, airlines and suppliers of travel-related products and services in the Philippines.
In 2010, the three-day event attracted an estimated 80,000 visitors. This year, the expo will host exhibitors from all across Asia, the Middle East, North America, South America, South Africa, as well as Europe, and is expected to draw an even bigger crowd.
A meeting with Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III at the Malacanang Palace in Manila is also on the mayor’s itinerary. Among the topics he plans to discuss with Aquino are: the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation; Renewable Energy Act of 2008 and current renewable energy efforts in the Philippines; and sustainable agriculture practices.
The mayor is especially looking forward to presenting a donation of medical equipment to the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City that will be solely for the use of indigent children that are critically ill, the release states.
The donation of two ventilators, 20 laryngoscopes and 100 endotracheal tubes will be made on behalf of the Rotary Club of Po‘ipu and the Evslin Family Foundation of Stowe, Vt.
“It’s all about partnerships,” said Carvalho. “The Rotary Club and the Evslin Family Foundation raised $57,000 to purchase the life-saving equipment and arranged to have Dr. Brad Wong, director of the Aloha Medical Mission, bring the equipment to Manila to help impoverished children. I’m delighted to support their efforts.”
During a visit to Laoag City in the province of Ilocos Norte, Carvalho will present a resolution from the Kaua‘i County Council to the mayor of Laoag City, Michael Farinas, and establish a sister-city relationship between Kaua‘i and Laoag City.
Carvalho will also meet with leaders of Kaua‘i’s existing sister-cities, including: Mayor Ryan Seares Luna of Bangued Municipality in the Province of Abra; Mayor Jesus Bueno III, Santa Municipality in the Province of Ilocos Sur; and Mayor Amadeo Perez IV, Urdaneta Municipality in the Province of Pangasinan.
While in the city of Urdaneta, the mayor will stop at the local university where he will be joined by Kaua‘i Community College Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs James Dire for a meeting with university officials.
“We’d like to continue to explore the possibility of developing a nursing exchange program with Urdaneta City University and any other programs that might be mutually beneficial,” said Carvalho.
The mayor will return to Kaua‘i on March 3, the release states.