THE Negros Occidental Historical Council Inc. (NOHCI) was originally created as the Negros Occidental Historical Commission under Resolution No.33 dated January 15, 1971 of the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental chaired by the late Governor Alfredo Montelibano Jr. and placed under the Office of the Governor.
After the basic organizational processes, it was operationally constituted with the appointment of the initial Board of Trustees with Aurelio Locsin as the first chairman and Fr. Pedro Lerga, OAR, Fr. Bienvenido Junquera, OSA, Provincial Superintendent Fe Dignadice, Nicholas Ledesma and Rolando Espina as directors.
The Mission of the NOHCI, from its inception until today, was to assist the provincial government promote the values of history and culture in the province. Its main programs were to conduct continuing research, documentation, publication and dissemination of relevant history and culture for the benefit of the people of Negros Occidental.
The Negros Occidental Historical Commission was affiliated with the National Historical Institute on September 10, 1972. Due to the death of chairman Aurelio Locsin and the transfer of other directors, the new Board Members appointed were Nicholas Ledesma as chairman, Fernando C. Cuenca as vice chairman and Lydia L. Lizares as treasurer.
On October 8, 1985, the Board appointed this writer as Executive Director. The current directors to date are Msgr. Guillermo Ma. Gaston as chairman, Gil Alfredo Severino as treasurer, Luis Antonio Valderrama and Mary Ann Manganti as directors. Vanessa Lacson has been assigned by the Governor’s Office as secretary.
The NOHCI office and library, located at the South Wing of the Provincial Capitol Building along South Capitol Road in Bacolod City, has accumulated about 4,000 books and other publications or loose files which are mostly on local and national history and culture with some international volumes as well. These materials are continuing to be augmented and are open for free to the general public.
The council is operated mainly with a modest counterpart fund and annual assistance from the provincial government. As agreed with the province, the former Negros Occidental Historical Commission was privatized as (NOHCI) with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 1992 in order to enable the organization to operate with more flexibility in attaining its objectives. Several volunteer research staff, Fylgia R. Hofileña, Mary Grace Mendoza, and Barbara Tormon assist the NOHCI in its various activities
As in the past 50 years, the council is continuing to implement various relevant programs on its mandate to assist the Provincial Government in the promotion of history and culture in the province.
In line with its bylaws, the council holds regular and special Board Meetings every year and submits official written reports to the provincial government, BIR and SEC. Annual program and financial reports are audited by the Gonzales Accounting Office. Continuing maintenance and improvement of its library with purchases, donations and acquisitions of other publications focused on family and local history, periodicals/magazines, historical clippings files and acquisitions of various office equipment.
As advocacy or other educational services, the council is sustaining its coordination with the provincial government, National Historical Commission and other public and private Agencies on various historical requests/assistance. It also conducts lectures on various seminars and symposiums.
As a special networking service, the council coordinates with the National Historical Commission on information and endorsements requested by various government or private sector agencies. Relevant requests on history and culture are welcome. NOHCI contact number is 433-2574.