DAVAO CITY — General Santos City concluded partnership agreements with three Pampanga local governments as well as the Clark Development Corp. on Sept. 5, coinciding with the city’s annual Tuna Festival in early September.

Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera signed sister-city agreements with Angeles, Mabalacat and San Fernando, Pampanga and a separate deal with the Clark Development Corp.

The agreements were part of a plan to encourage trade linkages under the United States Agency for International Development’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth project.

In a statement, Mr. Rivera said: “We are excited to commence these new partnerships with the public and private sectors of Pampanga. These will truly empower and benefit our constituents which will support new development and sustainable growth in our city.”

One of the intended outcomes of the agreements is the eventual launch of direct air service between Clark and General Santos in southern Mindanao, he said, enabling stronger tourism and investment links.

Last month, the Metro Clark Advisory Council passed a resolution urging airlines to service the route. — Carmelito Q. Francisco