By Ernie Reyes
MANILA – The Senate Committee Local Government has recommended for plenary approval proposed legislation that seeks to rename the convention center in Cagayan de Oro City in honor of one of the country’s renowned statesman, the late former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.
Senator Francis ‘Tol’ N. Tolentino, panel chair said the committee endorsement of House Bill No. 8842 is very timely in recognition of the vast contributions in the society of one of Cagayan de Oro’s favorite sons, Pimentel, who is considered “The Father of the Local Government Code.”
Principally authored by House Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, HB 8842 seeks to rename the Cagayan de Oro Convention Center located along Barangay Indahag as “Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr. International Convention Center.”
Born in Cagayan de Oro City on December 11, 1933, Pimentel served as senator from 1987 to 1992 and from 1998 to 2010. He held various committee chairmanships during his stellar run in the Upper House especially as chair of the powerful Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and as head of the Senate Committee on Local Government, in which during his stint spearheaded the approval and enactment of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.
He was elected as 19th Senate President from November 2000 until June 2001.
Pimentel also served in various capacities in the government such as Minister of the Interior and Local Government from 1986 to 1987, as well as Mayor of Cagayan de Oro City and Assemblyman for his hometown during the First Regular Batasang Pambansa from 1984 to 1986.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Historical Institute are both supportive of the said measure.
Meanwhile, Tolentino’s panel also endorsed for plenary approval other pending local bills such as H.B. 6535—renaming Barangay Sta. Maria in Presentacion, Camarines Sur as Barangay Parubcan; and H.B. 9452—renaming the Municipality of San Isidro in Davao Del Norte as the Municipality of Sawata. (ai/mtvn)