BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod expressed its profound gratitude and appreciation to lawyer Simplicio Acuña Palanca for his “quintessential achievements and enduring legacy of beneficence and unparalleled contribution to the growth and stability of Bacolod City”.
In a resolution authored by Councilor Renecito Novero, the SP also extended its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Palanca for his death on July 10 at the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center at the age of 98.
Palanca, the founder and long time president of Bredco, who was fondly called “Sammy” by many and “Uncle Sam” by those dear to him, lived an exemplary, prolific, productive and compassionate, and dream-driven life which the City of Bacolod shared since 1961 when he embarked on the reclamation and port project along the city’s shoreline, it said.
The resolution said that Palanca, though severely misunderstood and criticized, tenaciously held on to his avowed vision, growth trajectory and pathway for sustained progress in the City of Bacolod.
This resulted in the birth of the 250-hectare “City within the City” known as the Bacolod Reclamation Area that is presently home to multi-billion businesses providing thousands of jobs to residents, producing multi-million profits for entrepreneurs, and remitting multi-million peso revenues annually to the City of Bacolod, thus contributing immensely to the delivery of basic services and developmental projects for its constituents, it said.
Through his tireless and assiduous endeavors, a five-hectare seaport became a-long-dream-come-true for Bacolod City from which sprang forth the catalysts of rapid development of tourism industry and economic activity not only in Bacolod but also in the whole Visayan Region, the resolution said.
His 250-hectare reclamation and 5-hectare sea port projects have undeniably contributed greatly to the renown of Bacolod City that merited from the government and reputable private institutions certain distinctions and awards such as “The Most Business Friendly LGU Outside Metro Manila”, “Most Competitive Highly Urbanized City in the Philippines”, and “Top Model City”, among others.
The SP also highlighted other contributions and achievements of Palanca, such as his donation of P70 million for the construction of the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center Medical Arts building, the P15-million seven-storey viewing tower for the 1981 visit of Pope John Paul II, and for being a patron of the entertainment arts.*