by TYRONE A. VELEZ
Davao City – The Davao City Chinatown Development Council (DCCDC) would be inking a sisterhood agreement with the Quezon City Chinatown Council on Friday, in time with the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
The agreement is expected to bring cooperation and development in terms of investments, cultural and academic development for Chinatown Davao City.
This was revealed by DCCDC officials Sunday as they unveiled a propotype Chinatown street post along Monteverde-Lizada Streets, which is distinct as the street name is translated into Chinese language and adorned with Chinese dragons holding Davao’s staple fruit, durian.
Around 11 officials of the DCCDC, including Davao City administrator Melchor Quitain representing the Davao City local government, will sign the pact in Quezon City.
Quitain said he hopes this endeavor will continue the cooperation between the local government and the Chinese community to develop Davao Chinatown.
“The city wants cooperation of all peopel in Chinatown. This is our city, let’s make this a sample of individuals working for the good of everyone. We encourage others like the old Chinese (families) to participate in all activites,” Quitain said.
Quitain said he personally donated money for the prototype Chinatown street sign to “start the ball rolling for others to follow”, as the DCCDC will be building 60 more street posts.
DCCDC vice-chair and former City Councilor Susabel Reta officials hope this would develop the potential of Davao’s Chinatown, which is considered one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world with an area of 44 hectares.
Reta noted that business has been flourishing in these areas with the establishment of more commercial banks.
DCCDC officer Amado So said they are studying a partnership with city government to develop Chinatown’s Alvarez Street as a site for the city’s night market for small vendors. So proposed to build housing units for vendors to welcome the marginalized sectors to Chinatown.
“We have to make Chinatown a place for all. We don’t need a Chinatown that looks like Makati,” he said.
Davao City’s Chinatown was formally created by the city government through an executive order by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in 2003 and by a city ordinance in December 2004 authored by Reta as head of the council’s committee on tourism.
The Chinatown area is composed of Magsaysay Avenue, Monteverde Avenue, Leon Garcia Street, Sta. Ana Avenue and areas bounded within these streets.
The DCCDC noted that 70% of Davao Chinatown is populated by Filipino-Chinese and Chinese migrants, who operate stores engaged in dry goods, rice and agriculture, automobile parts, house wares, restaurants and pharmaceuticals.
Chinatown also housed the local department store NCCC Lizada and new popular stores such as DCLA Plaza and 168 Chinatown that offer cheap wares.
Other notable landmarks in Davao Chinatown are the four Traditional Chinese archs entering Chinatown. With the Arch of Friendship along Magsaysay Avenue, the Arch of Unity situated near Magsaysay Park, the Arch of Peace along Sta. Ana Avenue near Davao Central High School and the Arch of Prosperity along Sta. Ana corner Alvarez Street. (Tyrone A. Velez/davaotoday.com)china davao sisterhood, chinese new year, chinese new year 2014, davao city economy