Charter Day awards-A A +A
Thursday, February 24, 2011
IT was almost 30 years ago when the first Cebu City Charter Day awards was launched. Whether the year was l974 or 1975, I am not quite sure now. But I recall that it was the late Conching Briones who broached the idea to me.
Briones was columnist then of the now defunct Republic News, and the city mayor was Yoyong Borres. She was quite close to Borres, and she and the manager of Citibank (then called the First City Bank of New York) visited my office at the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
Ferdinand Marcos’s martial rule was just on its second or third year, and the Philippine Constabulary was the powerful arm of the Palace all over the country. Cebu or Central Visayas for that matter was under the effective jurisdiction of Gen. Luis Amor. His man in contact with Cebu media was Col. Greg Ayo.
Since the Manila Times was closed, I welcomed an assignment from then press secretary Francisco Tatad to organize the public information office in Central Visayas. In Cebu, then governor Osmundo Rama allowed me to open the Department of Public Information (DPI) office in the Capitol until I was able to transfer to the DBP office at the corner of P. del Rosario St. and Jones Ave.
When Conching and company dropped by the office to broach the idea of a Cebu City Charter Day awards, I thought it was a good one. I called up General Amor and he assigned Col. Jess Hermosa to coordinate with us. Thus, with Conching doing the coordinating with City Hall, a list of awardees was submitted to the DPI office.
The reason I readily agreed to undertake the project was my belief that the private sector is the key to the development and progress of the city, hence it is only fitting that recognition be extended to them. I recall that Simeon Dumdum, Jr. (who later became an executive judge of the RTC) was a member of my staff that prepared the rationale and guidelines of the award.
Members of the writing staff of DPI that included Gingging Teleron (now Mrs. Jun Dumdum), Erma Cuizon, now with Sun.Star, Maning Satorre (who was then with the Philippine News Agency) and the late Boy Veloso helped to prepare the justification of the award for each of those in the list submitted by Conching.
Tolin dela Serna, who later became my assistant director, helped in the coordination work. One of the awardees was the FCBNY, whose manager then was involved in the project. It is coincidental that the author of the Cebu City charter was a Rama, kin of the incumbent city mayor. The governor of Cebu who also supported the first Charter Day awards was also a Rama.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 25, 2011.