Synopsis: Tagbilaran City in 50 Years as a City

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Synopsis: Tagbilaran City in 50 Years as a City

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Last July 1, 2016 the City of Tagbilaran celebrated its Golden Anniversary or 50 years as a city.  We can only write a synopsis of what transpired in 50 years in a single article.


In 1965 when Senator Ferdinand Marcos of the Nacionalista Party (NP) was campaigning for the Presidency, he made a promise to Mayor Venancio Inting (NP) that he will work for the conversion of Tagbilaran as a City if he becomes President.


Ferdinand Marcos became President of the Philippines.  The three (3) Congressmen then filed a Bill to convert Tagbilaran into a City.  On June 18, 1966 President Marcos enacted R.A. 4660 as the City Charter of Tagbilaran to be effective on July 1, 1966.

The first City Officials were: City Mayor – Venancio Inting; Vice Mayor – Luciano Pamaong; City Councilors: Jose Ma. Rocha, Manuel Hontanosas, Segundo Lim, Norberto Gallardo, Romualdo Lumantao, Jose V. Torralba, Jose Angalot, and Alejandro Alburadora.

From an income of P125,000 in 1965, the City budget became P464,810 in 1966 and P695,400 in 1967.

Significant Activities

In 1965 only the national roads were asphalted.  The new city administration began asphalting the city streets by the “inverted penetration” method.  It was a cheap method of asphalting roads introduced by Engr. Ananias Putong.

Barrio roads were opened and the water supply system was provided for the barrios of Tiptip, Manga, and Ubojan.


Councilor Patricio Pizarras was instrumental in the standardization of the present form of the “Tricycle”.  The tricycle became the popular form of public transportation due to the newly asphalted roads.


Jan. 1, 1972 – Dec. 31, 1975

Atty. Rolando Butalid was elected City Mayor and Atty. Jose Torralba as City Vice Mayor.  There administration was overtaken by Martial Law but it was allowed to continue functioning.

The activities undertaken by the previous administration were continued and Tagbilaran City continued to progress.


First Sangguniang Panlungsod

On January 17, 1976 the Local Government was revised into a Sangguniang Panlungsod.  The City Mayor was still Atty. Rolando Butalid and the office of Vice Mayor was eliminated and made part of the Sanggunian.  The Sanggunian or Council was composed of the City Councilors, Barangay Captains and representatives from different sectors.  They were now addressed as “Kagawad”.  It continued until February 29, 1980.


On Oct. 13, 1978 Mayor Rolando Butalid was appointed by President Marcos as Governor of the Province of Bohol and Jose Ma. Rocha was appointed as the Mayor of Tagbilaran.

March 1980 – April 1986

An election was held on March 1980 and Jose Ma. Rocha was elected as City Mayor and Atty. Rodulfo Yap was elected to the office of Vice Mayor that was restored.  City Councilors were also elected and representatives from the private sector were appointed to compose the 2nd Sangguniang Panlungsod.

It was during the early part of the term of Mayor Rocha that President Marcos ceded five (5) hectares of the military reservation to be used as the government center of Tagbilaran.  Atty. Edilberto Gallares, who was a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod did not interposed any objection.  The donation for the military reservation stipulates that the land donated by Gov. Celestino Gallares will return to the Gallares family if the donated land will not be used by the military.  Now the New City Hall and other buildings are located in the ceded 5 hectares lot.

Edsa Revolution

After the Edsa Revolution in late February 1986 the local governments were reorganized.  Officers-in-charge or OICs were appointed.

The first to be appointed were Atty. Dan Lim as OIC Mayor (3/19/86) and Atty. Nerio Zamora as OIC Vice Mayor (4/16/86).

Next to be appointed were Atty. Jose Torralba as OIC Mayor (1/19/87) and Rizalino Israel as OIC Vice Mayor (6/1/87).

New Constitution

On January 18, 1988 an election was held with the newly elected officials to start functioning on June 24, 1988.  The term of office was four (4) years.

Atty. Jose Torralba was elected as City Mayor and Rizalino Israel as Vice Mayor.  It was also during this time that I was elected as City Councilor.  My first ordinance that I proposed was the creation of the “Tagbilaran City Waterworks” to serve the areas not served by the Provincial Waterworks.

Engr. German Ligue was appointed by Mayor Torralba as the waterworks superintendent.  I required Engr. Ligue to obtain a water right for every pumping station that will be established.

New Local Government Code

In May 1992 an election was held under the New Local Government Code. The term of office was to be three (3) years.  Jose Ma Rocha was elected City Mayor and Gloria Neri Lim as Vice Mayor.  I was reelected as City Councilor.  Atty. Dan Lim was appointed as City Administrator.

During the administration of Mayor Rocha I introduced the “Motorela” system to ply designated routes to the barrios.  It was also the time when the “Satellite City” was planned and implemented to be composed of the Bus Terminal and the Central Market.

To facilitate the acquisition of lands I sponsored an ordinance designating the road system in the “Satellite City”.  The Alturas Group of Companies was then requested to establish what is now the Island City Mall (ICM).

Jan. 30, 1995 – June 30, 2004

Mayor Jose Torralba and Vice Mayor Jorge Cabalit were elected for three (3) successive terms.  There terms were marked with improving the garbage collection system and passing ordinances for building and zoning regulations.  During their last term, the New City Hall was constructed.

Jan. 30, 2004 – June 30, 2013

Mayor Dan Lim was elected for three (3) successive terms as Mayor and Atty. Nuevas Montes was elected as Vice Mayor for two (2) alternate terms and Jose Veloso as one term Vice Mayor.

During the term of Mayor Lim the strict implementation of building set-back was implemented.  In his last term, the concreting of city streets was started.

Jan. 30, 2013 to present

John Geesnell Yap II, is now elected to his second term as City Mayor together with Jose Veloso.

On Oct. 15, 2013 the Bohol M7.2 earthquake occurred and the City Hall Building was damaged.  It was restored only last June 30, 2016.

Mayor Yap’s administration is marked by the continuing of the concreting of streets and enhancing tourism, especially through his “Saulog Tagbilaran”.

There are many events and accomplishments of the different administrations that I could not mention in this article. (By Jes B. Tirol)

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