HIMAMAYLAN CITY – The P198-million Himamaylan City Hall was unveiled Sunday in rites led by Mayor Agustin Ernesto Bascon, and witnessed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s Adviser for Political Affairs Francis Tolentino and Negros Occidental officials led by Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Twelve Catholic priests blessed the imposing structure standing on a three-hectare property, which includes the Hall of Justice and Himamaylan City Police Station located at Barangay Talaban.
“Although the President was not able to come here, I am very honored and happy that he sent his representative in the person of Secretary Tolentino,” the mayor said.
He added: “I have two things to ask the President to help us in concreting the Himamaylan-Tayasan Road and the bridge at Punta Talaban going to Aguisan which is 26 kilometers. It will serve as the fastest route going to Oriental and vice versa. It will only take 27 minutes to reach Negros Oriental. I am hoping and praying that the President will listen and act on these requests of the people of Himamaylan,” Bascon said.
The mayor, who said the city hall construction was funded via a loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines, considered the structure as his legacy to the people of Himamaylan.
He said that 60 years ago, it was his great grandfathers former Governor Valeriano Gatuslao, Mayor Jose Gatuslao, and Congressman Agustin Gatuslao, who were instrumental in building the then Himamaylan Municipal Hall.
“I am sentimental about the old City Hall because of the past works of my great grandfathers, but we can no longer fit at the old City Hall, the reason why we have built this. This is a new era and a history in the making under my leadership,” Bascon added.
Among the officials who attended inauguration rites were Mayors Evelio Leonardia of Bacolod City, Mark Golez of Silay City, Isidro Zayco of Kabankalan City, Oscar Montilla of Sipalay City, Marvin Malacon of E.B. Magalona, Enrique Miravalles of Valladolid, Rhumyla Mangilimutan of La Castellana, and Magdaleno Peña of Moises Padilla.