BACOLOD CITY, June 20 (PNA) — The Negros Occidental Historical Council (NOHCI) is firm in its decision to block any move to change the charter day celebration of this city from October 19 to June 18.
NOHCI reiterated its stand after outgoing mayor and now congressman-elect Evelio Leonardia pursued the commemoration of the signing of law converting Bacolod into a city on Tuesday.
Even guest speaker Senator Aquilino Pimentel III supports the proposed amendments to Commonwealth Act No. 326 that set the charter day of the city on October 19.
NOHCI Chairman Guillero Gaston appealed to Leonardia to join the citizens of Bacolod in observing October 19 as the city’s official charter day anniversary.
Gaston said it is just right and proper that Bacolod will celebrate its charter day on October 19 since it is the date when the city started its “corporate existence”.
The Commonwealth Act No. 326 creating Bacolod as a Charter City was signed by President Manuel L. Quezon on June 18, 1938.
Section 50 of the Act provides that the City Government “will be organized” after the appointment and qualification of the first City Mayor.
Thus, Quezon came to Bacolod on October 19, 1938 and organized the new city government by appointing to office the city’s first mayor Alfredo Montelibano Sr.
Moreover, former President Fidel Ramos signed on May 19, 1974 Republic Act. 7724 declaring Bacolod City’s Charter Day on October 19 as a special non-working holiday every year.
But City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan assured that there will be no legal discrepancies if Leonardia insists in holding a pre-charter day celebration every June 18 of the year instead of October 19.