By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Senate recently approved on its second reading the bill seeking to change Bacolod City’s Charter Day from October 19 to June 18. The passage was confirmed yesterday by Jaimie Yulo, chief of staff for Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
The senator called it “a good day for Bacolod.”
Yulo said the third and final reading will likely take place on Monday.
Earlier, in response to skepticism expressed over the bill’s passage by former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, incumbent Mayor Evelio Leonardia said RA 7724, which marked October 19 as the city’s Charter Day, “created the legally unfounded belief that the Bacolod City Charter Day is on October 19.”
He called the current legislation “a matter of correcting a wrong.”
Meanwhile, Puentevella said the Senate defied the opinion of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), which has twice denied previous attempts to make such a change.
Bacolod City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. previously submitted a position paper regarding the matter, citing a 1938 resolution, signed by then-Mayor Fernando Cuadra, that converted Bacolod City from a municipality to the city, pointing out, “Nowhere did the said document mention June 18 as the birth of Bacolod City.”
Gamboa discussed Commonwealth Act 326, or the The Charter of Bacolod as a City, which was approved on June 18, 1938, but stated: “The city government provided for in this charter shall be organized immediately after the appointment and qualification of the city mayor, and the appointment and induction into office of the members of the city council.”
He argued, Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. was appointed, installed, and inaugurated as mayor on October 19, 1938./DGB, WDJ