Former President and now Deputy House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (Pampanga, 2nd District) has filed a bill seeking to rename the Bohol Circumferential Road into the Gov. Erico B. Aumentado Highway.
The Bills Index Division of the House of Representatives received the explanatory note and bill on December 13 and stamped the former as House Bill No. 4673.
The Macapagal-Arroyo bill aims to perpetuate Aumentado’s memory after “he served with distinction as provincial board member, vice governor, congressman [of the 2nd District], deputy speaker [of the Lower House] and governor [of Bohol]”.
The explanatory note details the solon’s accomplishments from his birth up to his passing four years ago today, focusing on his political career.
Aumentado was born on May 18, 1940 in Ubay town. From extreme poverty and although orphaned by his father when he was only eight years old, he went on to become a scholar, valedictorian in his graduations, journalist, lawyer, civic and religious leader, senior Provincial Board member, vice governor, congressman and deputy speaker – the only Boholano to become one. He also chaired the influential 52-member bloc of Visayas congressmen.
He was governor of Bohol and completed an unprecedented three consecutive terms. He ran again and won as congressman. He was poised to run for reelection when death overtook him.
Aumentado was president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) and of the Union of local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) – the umbrella organization of local government units (LGUs) in his first and second terms as governor from 2001 to 2007. Macapagal-Arroyo was also the president of the republic at the time.
He also chaired the Regional Development Council and Regional Tourism Council Central Visayas where he worked for the socio-economic development of Central Visayas to make it a major tourism destination in the country.
Macapagal-Arroyo also said Aumentado restored Bohol as one of the country’s most peaceful provinces through his program on PovertyReduction for Peace and Development as cited by the National Peace and Order Council. His brainchild, the Bohol Local Integrated Security System (BLISS) that insulated the province from the re-entry of insurgents, contraband and other forms of lawlessness became a template adapted by the Philippine Army for other provinces to follow.
Bohol was declared insurgency-free by then Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales on Feb. 11, 2010 after Aumentado succeeded to move Bohol out of the 20 poorest provinces of the country and made it 113% rice self-sufficient for which it is now providing rice to Cebu, Dumaguete and Siquijor, she said.
She added that Aumentado brought to Bohol mega infrastructure amd povery reduction projects worth well over P15 billion and presided over Bohol’s phenomenal socio-economic development.
The former president refers to the late solon as “the architect” of the Bohol master plan which developed the province as a primary tourism destination. She said Aumentado “worked hard” to accomplish the circumferential roads of Bohol and of Panglao island, its various roll on-roll off ports, and started the establishment of an international airport in Panglao island.
She pointed out that Aumentado was “the catalyst” for Bohol’s major irrigation projects and the Leyte-Bohol Interconnection Project that electrifies the province.
He championed the construction of school buildings, and the employment of additional teachers to man each new classroom, He completed the concrete or asphalt paving of all national roads in the 2nd District, worked at energizing all sitios and public schools, established the Botica sa Barangay and post-harvest facilities.
He pushed for the improvement of major seaports, waterworks for the towns and barangays, livelihood programs through tourism and alternative seaweeds farming for fishermen using illegal methods. He ws passionate in protecting and preserving the environment and marine resources.
Aumentado was the principal author of the bill that would later on become Republic Act 8224 renaming the Circumferential Road 5 of “C5” into the Carlos P. Garcia Avenue and caused the construction of a monument to honor the only Boholano so far to become a president of the republic, and the father of the Filipino First policy.
Above all, Macapagal-Arroyo said, the man aptely dubbed as “Mr. Performance” and “Mr. Achiever” is credited for the implementation of the Bohol Circumferential Road Phases 1 and 2.
“Thus it is fitting and proper to honor his memory by renaming the landmark Bohol Circumferential Road as Gov. Erico B. Aumentado Highway,” she concluded her explanatory note. ( June S. Blanco)