Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fund lack dims Ecija town’s bid to revert to old name

GEN. TINIO, Nueva Ecija – The municipal government’s once-determined  bid to revert to its old name Papaya has dimmed due to lack of funds.

          Vice Mayor Ferdinand Bote said they need P2.5 million to push through with a referendum on the proposal to rename the town. “We have no money to conduct the referendum so this proposal is almost gone,” Bote said.

          Bote was referring to a six-year-old proposal seeking to have the town renamed into Papaya. The proposal was contained in a resolution passed in 2008 by the previous municipal council chaired by Bote and approved by Mayor Virgilio Bote.

          The resolution was forwarded to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan by the Bote administration.

          Mayor Bote said that for over 166 years of the town’s recorded existence as a community, its people and those from other parts of the country and even abroad affectionately refer to the town as Papaya and its citizens as Papayanos. He said it is sovereign upon the citizens of Gen. Tinio to adopt a name fitting and appropriate which relates to “our hearts, customs and traditions, and which embodies our aspirations, hopes and dreams.”

          This town, named after the great Novo Ecijano General Manuel Bundoc-Tinio, was originally known as Barrio de Papaya of the nearby town of Peñaranda. In the bell of the old Catholic Church, the words “Barrio de Papaya 1875” were inscribed as well as in the oldest written biography of Mamerto Ramos Padolina who was born in the town in 1845.

          The barrio was officially declared as the municipality of Papaya on January 7,1921.

          In 1957, then-Nueva Ecija second district Rep. Celestino Juan sponsored in the Third Congress House Bill 4692 changing the name of the municipality into Gen. Tinio in honor of the general, who took part in the 1896 Revolution against Spain. On June 20 of that same year, Papaya was officially renamed General Tinio by virtue of Republic Act 1665.    

          The proposal to rename this town into Papaya first came out during a joint executive-legislative meeting on  January 14,2008 by the municipal government. During the meeting, presided by Mayor Bote, development plans were laid out, including the possible conversion of the town into a city in 10 years.

          On October 13,2008, the Sangguniang Bayan passed Resolution 117 recommending to the SP to revert the town’s name into Papaya.

          The issue stirred a controversy in 2010 after the resolution got stalled in the SP, prompting Mayor Bote to assail his ally Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos and other SP members, accusing them of sleeping on the job. He subsequently resigned as president of the provincial chapter of the League of Municipalities and as a member of the Unang Sigaw Partido ng Pagbabago of Gov. Aurelio Umali and Padiernos allegedly over the SP’s foot-dragging on the issue.

          Padiernos denied sitting on the proposal, saying there were processes to be followed in the approval of resolutions emanating from the respective municipal and city councils in the province.

          Vice Mayor Bote said m,uch as they would want to push through with the referendum, one of the requirements by the Commission on Elections before it could revert to its old name, there was not enough resources to do so. (Manny Galvez) 

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