BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued Executive Order (EO) 1 for the creation of the organizing committee to steer and manage the city’s 80th anniversary celebration this year.

Leonardia said he signed the EO on January 3 for the event with the theme “Bacolod@80: Full Speed Ahead to the next 80 Years.”

He said a logo shall also be created and will be presented in due time.

The organizing committee is chaired by Leonardia with co-chairman Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.

Others are overall vice chairman City Administrator John Orola; executive director Councilor Em Ang; deputy executive director Councilor Cindy Rojas; secretary Imogene Kanaan; and members Secretary to the Mayor Edward Cuansing, Mary Jane Ramos of City Planning and Development Officer, Federico Guanzon of City Mayor’s Office, Public Information Officer Danny Dancalan, and Executive Assistant Rodel Parcon.

Section 6 of the EO stated that a Council of Advisers is created to secure ideas and advices and mobilize the assistance and support of its members composed of Representative Greg Gasataya, Councilors Caesar Distrito, Renectio Novero, Bartolome Orola Jr., Ann Marie Palermo, Dindo Ramos, Elmer Sy, Sonya Verdeflor, and Noli Villarosa.

Leonardia said this year, Bacolod will be 80 years old because its Charter was signed by President Manuel L. Quezon on June 18, 1938.

The mayor said Bacolod is now one of the premier highly-urbanized cities of the Philippines and is a recipient of many awards and recognitions as top performing in the areas of business-friendly, economic dynamism, tourism festival, business-process outsourcing operation, resiliency, best city to live-in, and child friendly.

“The incumbent local officials of Bacolod believe that the Bacoleños should be inspired to recall, reminisce and remember the city where they were born and raised, in order that they will feel proud of being a Bacoleño and then commit to participate and contribute actively in the noble task of accelerating the sustained and economic growth of their beloved city,” he added.

The mayor noted that a city like Bacolod is mandated under Section 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 to ensure and support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture and enhance economic prosperity.

"There is no stopping of the dream to make Bacolod a premier city of the country, eventually an Asean City, and finally as a City of the World. This is where our radar is aimed at. On our 80th year, we move towards this dream with an amazing speed so that in another 80 years, we see Bacolod to be the best that she could be, notwithstanding political nitpickers, global competition, and waves of technological and ideological warfare. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Leonardia said.

Orola said a series of activities have already been lined up from January to December 2018. The events will revolve around the City Government, arts, culture, and heritage, and business trade and investments.

He said the objectives of the grand year-long celebration are to recall, reminisce, remember and celebrate the significant in the history of Bacolod, and the milestone achievements of its leaders or stewards, institution and organizations that contributed significantly in bringing the city to where it is now.

It also aims to bring as many Balik-Bacoleños to Bacolod starting 2018; inform the Bacoleños about the crucial role of the City Government in planning and pursuing sustainable and inclusive growth; make Bacoleños, individually and collectively, proud of their rich culture and heritage; build a consensus on the way for Bacolod to move in the next 80 years; and secure the active support, participation and engagement of Bacoleños in the noble task of accelerating sustainable growth and development, he added.

Orola said the participation of the private sector is also solicited so that key members of the sector can engage themselves actively and fully.