Celebrating the sixth year of bilateral cooperation between the “sister cities,” officials of Sakai, Japan gifted the local government of Marikina City a new ambulance and firetruck on Monday, Aug. 8.
Sakai Mayor Masahiro Hashimoto and other delegates of the education and business sectors visited Marikina City for the turnover ceremony.
They were warmly welcomed by Marikina Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro, Vice Mayor Marion Andres, other government officials, the local police force, and members of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).
They proceeded first to the Marikina City Hall, then to the Plaza delos Alcadez or the Marikina Freedom Park for the ceremony.
In a short message, Mayor Hashimoto expressed his happiness to meet the people of Marikina City and Mayor Teodoro again after being hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I graciously welcome, express our profound gratitude for this ambulance as well as these firetrucks. More than this, we are grateful for the invaluable learnings, experiences, and opportunities we both gained from our mutual collaboration and friendship,” Teodoro said in a speech at the event.
The ambulance and fire and rescue truck with high-end, modern features were donated to assist the city in its emergency response efforts.
Previously, the city of Sakai also donated an advanced life support (ALS) ambulance and firetruck to Marikina City in 2019.
The ambulance had a “portable and fixed oxygen supply equipment, suction apparatus with a regulator, built-in pulse oximeter, automated external defibrillator, blood pressure meter, nebulizer, and immobilization equipment.”
“We have fulfilled our objectives of broadening and deepening our mutual understanding of our culture, people, practices, and good governance, we have actualized programs in education and disaster risk reduction and management through benchmarking activities and exchanging of ideas,” Teodoro added.
Teodoro said he hopes that the two cities “continue to prosper together for years to come.”
Afterwards, the Sakai delegates visited the House of Representatives, wherein they were welcomed by Marikina City District 1 Congresswoman Marjorie Ann “Maan” Teodoro.
Sakai, Japan and Marikina City forged their partnership in 2017.
In the succeeding years, officials of both sister cities have visited their respective towns for benchmarking activities.
Mayor Hashimoto and Sakai delegates have visited Marikina City in 2018.
Here, Mayor Teodoro brought them to the Philippine Footwear Federation, Inc. (PFFI) to showcase the local shoe manufacturing industry and discuss possible avenues to export Marikina-made shoes to Japan.
The Japanese delegation visited again in 2019 to join the Rehiyon-Rehiyon festival celebrations in the city, as well as turnover disaster response equipment.
Also in 2019, the Teodoro gifted Hashimoto his own pair of Marikina-made Oxford shoes, commissioned by the Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office. The plain toe Oxfords were made by local brands Sapatero, and Black Wing Shoes.
Teodoro and other city officials also went to Japan to visit Sakai in 2019.
Teodoro and Hashimoto exchanged knowledge and ideas on disaster response protocols. Hashimoto toured them to inspect the town’s flood evacuation center, and learn more about their long-range evacuation system. Teodoro shared Marikina’s flooding alert level system for evacuation, and the use of modular tents.
Teodoro also learned about Sakai’s affordable housing program to create a better social housing system for Marikina residents.