One of the legal anchors in the argument of Bacolod City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. on retaining Bacolod City Charter Day as October 19 lies within Section 15 of the Tydings-McDuffie Act, or the Philippine Independence Act. The act adopted a constitution and formed a Philippine government. Approved by the United States Congress on March 24, 1934, the date was used as a reckoning date for the transition of rights from the United States to the Philippine government.
Section 15 states: “The government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands shall be deemed successor to the present Government of the Philippine Islands and of all the rights and obligations thereof. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, all laws or parts of laws relating to the present Government of the Philippine Islands and its administration are hereby repealed as of the date of the inauguration of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands.”
In accordance with the United States Constitution, Section 1, Clause 8 of Article II, which outlines the executive branch, notes, the president, before assuming office, shall take an oath or affirmation. The fact that the creation of Bacolod City was by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 326, or an Act creating the City of Bacolod, it should follow what is provided in the law.
A number of cities celebrate their Charter Day on the date of their inauguration.
Zamboanga City Commonwealth Act 39 was signed and approved October 12, 1936, with an inauguration date of February 26, 1937 – they commemorate their Charter Day every February 26. The same model is used in Iloilo City, Cebu City, and Bacolod City.
In terms of historical recognition, President Manuel Quezon, by virtue of Proclamation No. 325 series of 1938, stated, “Amending Proclamation No. 322, dated September 23, 1938, so as to set aside October 19, 1938 as a day for the inauguration of the city of Bacolod and declaring it a Special Public Holiday for the Province of Negros Occidental.” President Carlos P. Garcia did the same through Proclamation No. 626-A series of 1959, declaring Monday, October 19, 1959 as a Special Public Holiday in the City of Bacolod.
The declarations made by these former presidents should be respected as they are now part of the history of this country. The presumption of regularity relative to these proclamations remains valid until revoked based on evidence and existing law.
There are many pressing issues Bacolod City lone district Rep. Greg Gasataya must be cognizant of, like the high inflation rate. Significant laws imbued with public interest are expected of you congressman. Show us you are “our representative.”/WDJ