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Friday, May 15, 2015

Bayog town turns 48, pushes for environmental protection, peace promotion, people empowerment

By Claro A. Lanipa

A bustling town nestled in the green valleys surrounded by verdant hills and mountains is now pursuing certain programs to preserve and protect its environment, develop its people and promote lasting peace for progress and development.

This is now the focus of the municipal leadership under the aegis of Mayor Leonardo Babasa Jr., as Bayog town marked its 48th founding anniversary last May 8.

Banking on the  relentless support and cooperation from the  municipal and barangay officials, the business community and the people, Mayor Babasa vowed to steer this interior municipality of Zamboanga del Sur to tangible growth and development where the environment nurtured and preserved.

The beginning

It was in 1953 when a large number of immigrants started settling permanently in Barrio Bayog, which was then sparsely populated by the natives called “Subanen.” This village was part Malangas town.

Bayog was adopted as the official name of the barrio, as “Bayog” trees abound in the locality.

On November 14, 1964, Bayog was created into a municipality through Executive Order No. 112 by then President Diosdado Macapagal. However, on February 15, 1966, the infant municipality was dissolved and reverted to its former status and became one of the barangays of the municipality of Buug by virtue of a Supreme Court decision in a petition filed by then Congressman Emmanuel Pelaez  stating that “the creation of a new  municipality through an executive order was against the law as the same was the sole prerogative of the Congress.”

Finally, Bayog was born into a separate and distinct municipality on May 8, 1967 by virtue of Republic Act 4872 authored by the then Representative Vincenzo Sagun of the lone district of Zamboanga del Sur.

Through the years, its growth weathered numerous obstacles and various challenges to reach what Bayog is today.

Today, Bayog is a third class municipality belonging to the province’s second congressional district.

Mayor Babasa, who is now on his second term as the town’s chief executive,  has been grateful and elated over the support and cooperation of his constituents over the years.

“Let us not forget to pay tribute and give honor to our former leaders  who help transformed our town of what it is at present,” he said.

This year’s founding anniversary theme is “ Kinaiyahan Amumahon, Kalinaw Palungtaron, Katawhan Palagsikon aron Kalamboan Maangkon” (Preserve the Environment, Promote Peace, Motivate People for Progress)

“Our anniversary theme always involved three things: environment, people and peace  which means that the people needs the environment and peace so that progress and development that we always dream off will be attained in our community,” Babasa pointed out.

“Let us continue to protect and preserve our environment. Let peace and order always prevail now and in the future so that all of us not only the municipal officials, barangay officials, and the municipal employees but everybody residing in this municipality will attain progress and growth that all of us want to achieve in the future,” the mayor urged his constituents.

To highlight the annual celebration, a Palad-Palad Festival was conducted  is as the people’s expression of gratitude and thanksgiving for all the blessings they received in the previous years, as they hope to receive the same in the coming years.

The festival, which is a showcase of local tribal dances with colourful costumes matched with props made of indigenous materials, was participated in by the high school students of the municipality’s 28 barangays which were grouped into clusters.