The general consensus of the recent visit of the Hawaiian delegation led by Governor Linda Lingle has immeasurably strengthened the state-province sisterhood relationship. While some cynics may comment on the whole affair as more of a show than of substance, it is the opinion of this writer that the various technical assistance and knowledge transfer programs beginning to be instituted in the fields of educational, agricultural and health care technical assistance and knowledge will go a long way in the further development of our natural and human resources.
For example, the health care technical assistance program will not only benefit the province by employing our nurses in Hawaii; the program will enable our nurses to have a higher level of health care education qualifying them for entry level employment at the higher nursing levels where the pay and the opportunities for advancement are greater.
The enormous goodwill between Ilocos Norte and the State of Hawaii is certainly a major factor in encouraging investment in the province as in the establishment of the mango processing plant in Pasuquin. As noted in their respective remarks at the inauguration of the plant, both governors Lingle and Marcos expressed the import of the venture as an actualization of the sisterhood agreement. It is to be noted that the efforts of the present provincial leadership in promoting the province as an investment site have contributed immensely to the establishment of this venture and such projects as the windpower plant in Bangui have considerably enhanced the favorable investment climate.
The sisterhood relationship has reaffirmed and is in fact a formal political recognition of the significant relationship between the Ilocanos of our province and the ethnically predominant Ilocano population of Hawaii.
The sisterhood agreement is also a means of establishing a more coherent and comprehensive assistance program by coordinating the efforts of both State and community organizations. Whereas before, various organizations would contribute in their own ways as in the regular donations of the SIRMATA group of medical equipment and supplies; the sisterhood agreement will allow for more effective focus and direction in assistance efforts by identifying areas of deficiency. This is in addition to the countless remittances and assistances our Fil-Hawaiian brothers have regularly sent to their relatives back home, in which a great number of our citizenry has been benefiting on an individual basis.
The sisterhood agreement is a reaffirmation of, and a concrete recognition of the efforts of our leaders, particularly Governors Lingle and Marcos, towards strengthening and further improving the close relationships between our two regions.