Baguio mourns death of the “Senator from the Cordillera”

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BAGUIO CITY – Local officials, residents and educators in the Summer Capital are now mourning the untimely demise of former Health Secretary and Senator Juan M. Flavier who was known to be the “Senator from the Cordillera” during his term as a senator from 1995 to 2007.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan cited Senator Flavier was a true and dedicated public servant who was able to touch the hearts of the ordinary Filipino people through his health promotional slogans, “Let’s DOH it, Yosi Kadiri, Oplan Alis Disease” among others.

“Senator Flavier volunteered to be known and identified as the Senator from the Cordillera because of the absence of lawmakers to represent our region in the halls of the Senate. He was able to author key legislations for the Cordillera,” Domogan stressed.

Flavier, who was born in Tondo, Manila, was an alumnus of the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS) Batch 1952 before pursuing higher degree of education in Metro Manila and abroad.

Domogan cited the contributions of Senator Flavier to Baguio city, particularly the utilization of nearly P600 million from his Priority Development Fund (PDAF) for the construction of the new structures of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) which was instrumental in upgrading the status of the hospital into a tertiary hospital, the construction of the new Baguio health department building and the concreting of major road networks in the city.

In his stint in the Senate, Domogan cited the passion of Senator Flavier in working out the passage of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act that empowered the indigenous peoples to have their voices be considered in the planning and implementation of development projects in their ancestral domain.

For her part, Dra. Elma D. Donaal, principal of the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS), said Senator Flavier was also instrumental in the construction of a good number of schoolbuildings within the campus of the institution, citing that the school plans to name a number of its buildings, its auditorium and several function rooms after the senator in recognition to his significant contributions to the growth and development of education in the city.

“We will surely miss a respected statesman. We are proud that he was a product of the city’s biggest public secondary institution. We will always remember him as a down to earth person,” Donaal stressed.

For his part, former Baguio City Rep. Bernardo M. Vergara said Senator Flavier was able to establish good working relationships with his fellow lawmakers and congressmen that is why it was easy for them at that time from the period 1995 to 2001 and 2001 to 2007 to request him to file counterpart bills for local legislations and key national laws such as the IPRA.

“Senator Flavier does not hesitate to share his time and effort for the passage of local legislations that is why it was not difficult for us to work out the passage of our bills that time,” Vergara stressed.

Vergara said Senator Flavier did not hesitate to represent himself as the lawmaker that had been advocating for the rights of the indigenous peoples, especially those from the Cordillera.

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