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SP honors Mayor Bing

BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

The members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod City expressed their profound affection, admiration and gratitude to Mayor Evelio Ramos Leonardia for his quintessential record of service to the City of Bacolod and for being, as of date, the longest serving mayor of Bacolod.

The resolution authored by Councilor Renecito Novero said Leonardia commenced his public service as tourism officer of Bacolod City and in that capacity, he co-founded the Bacolod MassKara Festival, which in the latter years, became an iconic city annual celebration of international renown.

Leonardia voluntarily resigned from the Tourism Office sometime after the 1985 EDSA Revolution to join the first local election under the 1987 Philippine Constitution and won as number one councilor, it said.

To date, Leonardia  stands as having the unparalleled record of being the lone person to have been elected to all the city elective political offices: as councilor (1988-1992), vice mayor (1992-1995), mayor (1995-1998, 2004-2013), congressman (2013-2016) and again as mayor (2016-2022), thus obtaining a record of 28 years of elective public service in the City of Bacolod, 18 years of which he served as mayor deserving him the title of “The Longest  Serving Mayor of Bacolod City,” the resolution said.    

Mayor “Bing”, as he has been fondly called through his stint as the city’s chief executive , has veered Bacolod City to a paradigm shift from sugar-dependent economy to a dynamic center of commerce and industry which gravitated  newer and richer business investments from various key economic players in the country  and magnified Bacolod’s economy to quantum leap potentials evidence by the multi-billion peso worth of structures which have mushroomed in its various barangays thus massively transforming  its physical landscape, vibrantly stirring its economic propensities and providing more business and employment opportunities to the people of Bacolod, it said.

The resolution said that among the four historic and beneficial landmarks of his administration merit a special mention: the construction of the Bacolod City Government Center which commenced sometime in 2007 and has to date already housed at least five terms of local administration elected administrators of the city and is reputed for some time as the most photographed “City Government Center” in the country; the construction of the Bacolod City College in 1997 which to date has already graduated about 13,000 poor but deserving Bacolodnon students and where presently tuition fees are altogether free and has just recently been infused with P350 million worth of development in terms of new buildings and modernized facilities;

The establishment of the 88-hectare relocation site in Barangay Vista Alegre where thousands of homeless Bacolodnons have already been relocated and which recently is a recipient of P350 million development program for improved power and water supplies , as well as road network; and as father to the city which was agonizing the virulent onslaught of COVID-19 starting sometime in February 2020, Leonardia has personally and sacrificially manned the complicated system of protection, healing  and recovery of Bacolod City which thus became among the first few local government units in the country to have been placed by the National Inter-Agency Task Force under Alert Level 1with hastened but cautious  foresight for a new normal way of life in the city very soon having vaccinated to date no less than 135 percent already of the target population, the resolution said.

Worth mentioning too are Leonardia’s other infrastructure, social and health services yet underway among which are the P50 million worth of rehabilitation program for each of the three public markets in Bacolod: Burgos Public Market, Bacolod City Central Market and Libertad Public Market and the establishment of the Bacolod City Medical Center in Brgy. Vista Alegre that will house the Bacolod City Hospital and which will serve as the centralized venue for rendering medical and health services to the people of Bacolod, it said.

The resolution said Leonardia’s qualitative managerial dedication has led in shaping Bacolod into a multi-awarded city and has, to date, earned him the distinction of being the only mayor of Bacolod City to have been elected national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines.

Officially as servant-leader and personally as friend, he has impacted the lives of many in the City of Bacolod in ways that certainly are worth commending and remembering, it added.

Novero, meanwhile, said he authored the resolution upon the suggestion of Bacolod Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.*

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