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San Fernando Supports ‘Cities #WithRefugees’ Campaign [ Thursday, 5th of September 2019 | 10 months ago ]

Joining other cities and municipalities in the country, the City Government of San Fernando expressed support for the “Cities #WithRefugees” campaign of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago, together with Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, and City Councilor Ariel Carreon, led the signing of the “Cities #WithRefugees” statement on September 5, 2019 at the Heroes Hall. Also joining them were Atty. Jenny Rose Avellano-Catalo of the Department of Justice, UNHCR Protection Associate Ma. Louella Gamboa, City Health Officer Dr. Eloisa Aquino and City Social Welfare and Development Officer Aileen Villanueva. As stated by the UNHCR, the Cities #WithRefugees campaign “seeks to amplify the efforts of cities that are creating inclusive communities where everyone can live in safety, become self-reliant, and contribute to and participate in their local community.” UNHCR also believes that “local authorities and mayors are some of the most important people to help refugees to settle in, find a safe place to live, get an education and be able to support their families.” As Santiago formally signed the statement, San Fernando is the 7th city in the Philippines who showed commitment to the campaign. The other cities and municipalities were San Jose Del Monte and Sta. Maria Bulacan, Vigan City, Zamboanga City, San Fernando, La Union, and Sta. Ana, Pampanga. In an interview, Gamboa expressed his gratitude to the Local Government of San Fernando for supporting the said campaign which will be truly beneficial to the refugees not just in San Fernando but across the world. “Maraming- maraming salamat po sa City of San Fernando lalong-lalo na po kay Mayor Edwin Santiago for being one of the pioneer cities dito po sa Philippines. San Fernando is one of the progressive cities so we are very fortunate na sumali po ito. We’re hoping na makita ang puso ng mga Pilipino at iyong kakayahan natin to support those who are in need,” said Gamboa. Meanwhile, Santiago vowed to fully hold up the “Cities #WithRefugees” campaign in the capital city by giving the refugees an access to the local government’s basic services. “Kagaya ng iba, gusto lang din nilang maging malaya, at—bilang nangongobyerno— ito ang ating misyon: ang mailagay natin sila sa tamang landas. By signing this commitment, we assure here in the City of San Fernando that we will do everything we can upang mapalakas ang adbokasiya ng UNHCR, maraming salamat sa inyong tiwala,” said Santiago.

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