Apayao celebrates Provincial Founder’s Day

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The Provincial Government of Apayao held a simple tribute program last May 18 in celebration of the Provincial Founder’s Day coinciding with the 82nd birthday of the province’s acclaimed founder and father, the late former Mayor, Congressman and Governor Elias K. Bulut.

Held at the ECBJR Multi-Purpose Building and Evacuation Center within the provincial capitol compound, the activity was attended on-site and online by provincial officials led by Governor Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang and Congressman Elias Bulut, Jr., officials and employees of the PGA and national line agencies as well former colleagues and contemporaries who took turns in reminiscing memorable moments with the honoree, and honoring him for pioneering Apayao’s development.

Vice Governor Remy Albano, speaking on behalf of the Governor, extended his appreciation to all those who took time in remembering and honoring the life of EKB.  “With the priceless sacrifices he did for us, there is no reason for us to give up his dreams, rather we should be inspired even more to push for a unified progressive Apayao”, he added.

In 2017,  the Sanggunian Panlalawigan, enacted an ordinance, authored by Board Member Mailah Haylee Ballesteros, declaring the late EKB as a provincial hero and the great founder and father of the province of Apayao and the observance of May 18, his birthdate Founder’s Day.

League of Municipalities President and Pudtol Mayor Hector Reuel Pascua recalled his personal encounter and working years with EKB saying that EKB became his mentor and model in leadership. “He was not only sensitive to the needs of his constituents but also a discerning leader. He is a stateman, a natural public speaker and a great influencer.”

He challenged everyone to continue working together for the realization of the hero’s vision noting how the province’s unity and continuing progress have been lauded and become the envy of other provinces.

Meanwhile, Mayor Rodolfo Juan of Flora, a contemporary of EKB, narrated the hardships and struggles they both experienced when Kalinga-Apayao is still then a one province. He told the story how he was challenged by EKB to lead. “With the words of the great EKB, I became a leader, hence I’m forever grateful for that trust he had in me,” he reminisced.

“In my 77 years of existence, I saw the transformation that happened in our province. Indeed, it is worthy to remember the sacrifices of this great leader. For this, it is but appropriate to celebrate the day our Almighty God  gave him to us,”  Mayor Juan stressed.

During the tribute program, the Provincial Government awarded the subsidies of Administrative Barangays Bucarot of Calanasan and EKB of Kabugao amounting to P1.25 million each. BY GERRIAHZON S. SEBASTIAN

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