Issue of November 5, 2017
     
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Baguio learns from 1st Fil–Am mayor in CA
by Harley F. Palangchao

STRONG PARTNERSHIP -- Vallejo, California Mayor Bob Sampayan and wife Ramona welcome the Baguio delegation led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Councilor Faustino Olowan during the city delegation’s visit to Northern California last week to celebrate the 24th sisterhood ties between two cities. -- Harley Palangchao

VALLEJO, California – The city government of Baguio can learn so much from its sister city of Vallejo in the field of education, administration, law enforcement, and health and sanitation, among others, with a Filipino-American sitting as mayor.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan underscored this last week as he led a city delegation to the 24th renewal of the sisterhood ties between two cities that were established in May 1993 when he was serving his first term as a city mayor.

Domogan said that with Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan at the helm since 2016, the city government can learn how the mayor, whose parents are from Binalonan, Pangasinan, is running the affairs of this city with over 140,000 population, 25 percent of which are Filipinos.

The 64-year-old Vallejo mayor is the first ever Filipino-American to be elected as a mayor in the Solano County of California, where a large population of Filipino-Americans are located.

Domogan said that with the Filipino community working harmoniously with the leadership of Sampayan, the same community could be a political force to be reckoned with in Northern California.

Sampayan, for his part, said things are moving forward for his city although admitting that his office faces some tremendous tasks in their bid to further improve the economy of the city. Vallejo is still recovering from bankruptcy.

During the campaign period, Sampayan outlined that his platforms of governance would focus on attracting investments, jobs, and industry aside from making Vallejo a safe, healthy, and attractive environment to work, live, and do business in.

The Filipino-American mayor said that one of the challenges being faced by his administration is the short and long-term effects of the legalization of marijuana in California.

The states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington have ruled to legalize the regulated use of marijuana.

Domogan said that the city government and local police force could learn how Vallejo will handle cases related to the use of marijuana, saying there is a move in Congress to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes in the Philippines.

The other members of the Baguio delegation are Councilor Faustino Olowan, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan, and her deputy, Edith Furigay.


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