Adolfo L. Balinado: Creator of the urban barangays-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
TODAY, many of us go to the polls to vote for the candidates in our respective barangays, I could not help but note that only a few Kagay-anons are cognizant of the fact that historically speaking, the concept of the creation of the barangays in the urban areas around the country began here, in Cagayan de Oro City.
This was the brainchild of Atty. Adolfo Mindanao L. Balinado, who was the city councilor under the administration of City Mayor Reuben R. Canoy from 1972 to 1976. This was to be his biggest contribution to our city and the rest of the country. But do you know that the urban barangays were then recognized only as socio-civic organizations and had no status as a political unit of the government?
Councilor Balinado must have a deep sense of history when he named these newly divided urban socio civic organizations as "barangays." This is a pre-hispanic word that was described by Franciscan friar, Juan de Plasencia in 1589 as a social unit headed by a chief with thirty to a hundred families under his rule. Each of the urban barangays in 1972 had over fifty to a little more than a hundred families just like the ancient barangay.
The first barangay elections of the city were held in 1972. The first six persons that garnered the most votes were to occupy the following positions: president, executive vice–president, secretary, treasurer, auditor, PRO, social manager.
Prominent local citizens and former officials like Rep. Fausto Dugenio, Fr. Franscisco Demetrio, Col. Salvador Olivenza, Augusto Neri, Dr. Blas Ch. Velez, Atty. Teogenes Velez Jr., Florentino Ketkai, Kishna Dadlani, Jess Dingcong, Charles Cepeda, Cortona Rivera, George Garcia, Jesus Esling, Phil Balan, Vicente Yap and many others became part of local history as the first group of officials who won in that historic elections.
That done, the City Government presented the new forty urban barangays and the newly elected officials in a colorful and grand fiesta celebrations that was capped by the oath taking at the Community Amphitheater.
Months later, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos created what is known as the "citizens assembly" that was patterned after Balinado's urban barangay concept. He then granted a political status to this socio-civic organization and the rest as they say is history.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 28, 2013.