By another name

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Friday, February 28, 2014


“WHAT'S in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet,” cried Juliet to her Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Not true, protested Councilor Caesar Distrito. Chair of the SP committee on laws, ordinances and good government, Distrito opposed the move to rename the Bacolod City Government Center citing Section 12 of the Local Government Code which requires local governments to establish a government center.

The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod passed on first reading an ordinance “Naming the public building known as the Bacolod City Government Center as the People’s House of Bacolod City.”

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Councilor Distrito might be right, of course. Under the proposed ordinance, we fail to read the word “Center.”

Section 12 of the LGC says “provinces, cities, and municipalities shall endeavor to establish a government center where offices, agencies, or branches of the national government, local government units, or government-owned or -controlled corporations may, as far as practicable, be located.”

But does changing the name to People’s House will mean the abolition of the offices, agencies, or branches of the national government, local government units in the Bacolod City Government Center?

If that’s the case, then maybe the local government of the City of Talisay under the leadership of Mayor Eric Saratan has violated Section 12 when it named the city’s government center the New Talisay City Hall.

Not exactly original, but who cares? Google the cities of Silay and Bago. So dull, all they use to describe their local government centers are the City of or take that of the province itself. Its provincial government center is called “Negros Occidental Provincial Government.

What? That’s it? No flashy names that could be debated on to waste taxpayers’ time? Yet, we hear, read nothing on its politicians taking umbrage on the non-names.

Governor Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. and Vice Governor Eugenio José V. Lacson belong to opposite aisle of partisan politics.

They might have had their difference on the sheep import, or the cybercenter. But replacing the name of the government centers, they agreed to adopt the bland names. But like, who cares? Why squabble?
Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, chair of the SP committee on history, arts and culture, said the status of the building is as is. Only the name was made official, and that the public building of the city is named the People’s House of Bacolod.

But the cat’s out of the bag. Distrito conceded that the history of the edifice shows that the purpose of the same is to name it as “government center,” and the current leaders should at least give some respect to their former leader’s intention.

That’s the intention? To keep in perpetuity the name of “Bacolod City Government Center?” Why not just name it the New Bacolod City Hall? Why bring in the Local Government Code that describe the function of a center, but now a complex would be named.

Heed the advice of Shakespeare: “Tis but thy name that is my enemy;/Thou art thyself.” Tis not Leonardia or Puentevella, tis City Hall by any other name.

(bqsanc@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 28, 2014.

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