Palayan, Nueva Ecija

Pahingahan Complex Palayan Nueva EcijaPalayan City is the capital city of Nueva Ecija province. Palayan City was just a Government Stock Farm before it was named on its present name. It was within Laur and Bongabon. The city was one of the 6 cities of the Philippines (namely Manila, Baguio, Quezon City, Trece Martires, Island Garden City of Samal, and Palayan) whose creation was specifically planned by the local leaders and approved by the Congress. On March 25, 1952 that the leaders of Nueva Ecija comprising of congressman, board members and all mayors of Nueva Ecija called a meeting with the desire to talk and plan about the transfer of the capital of Nueva Ecija from Cabanatuan to other municipality. There are several locations suggested, some of which are Gapan, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Guimba, Talavera, General Tinio, Baloc (present-day Santo Domingo), Muñoz, and the Government Stock Farm (present-day Palayan City). After the meeting, the majority agreed that the Government Stock Farm be made as the capitol site.

On June 19, 1965, congress of the Philippines enacted RA 4475 creating Palayan City as the new capital of Nueva Ecija. While the stock farm is not virtually rice land, ”Palayan” was chosen as its name, the province being dubbed as the Rice Granary of the region and the country. Finally, the city government of Palayan was constituted December 5, 1965 with then Governor Eduardo L. Joson as its Ex-Officio Mayor while the Board Members Constituted its first City Council.

On March 25, 1952, leaders of Nueva Ecija composed of then Governor Leopoldo Diaz,Congressman Jesus Ilagan, and Board Members Dioscoro de Leon and Antonio Corpuz, Don Felipe Buencamino and all Mayors of Nueva Ecija called a special consultation meeting in Manila to discuss and consider the transfer of the capital of Nueva Ecija from Cabanatuan City to other municipality in anticipation of the future expansion and urbanization of Cabanatuan. Several locations and proposals were suggested,specifically Gapan, San Jose City,Sta.Rosa, Guimba, Talavera, General Tinio, Baloc, Muñoz and Government Stock Farm within Laur and Bongabon.

After hours of lengthy and conscientious deliberations, it was unanimously agreed that the Government Stock Farm be made as the capitol site.

In 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay declared the portion of the territorial area of the government stock farm as open for settlement as NG-130 pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No.237.

On June 19, 1965, Congress of the Philippines enacted RA 4475 creating Palayan City as the new capital of Nueva Ecija. While the stock farm is not virtually rice land,”Palayan” was chosen as its name, the province being dubbed as the “rice granary” of the region and the country. Finally, the city government of Palayan was constituted and inaugurated December 5, 1965 with then Governor Eduardo L. Joson as its Ex-Officio Mayor while the Board Members constituted its first City Council.

On August 1969, the city was enlarged by virtue of RA 6052 authored by then Congressman Angel Concepcion which provided for the inclusion of the military reservation in Laur and Fort Magsaysay cantonment area within the municipality of Sta. Rosa.

The year 1969 also placed Palayan City in the map of national and international scene when it hosted the National Jamboree attended by thousand scouts and even foreign scouts from other countries. Said jamboree was dubbed as the “Jamboree of Experience and History”.

Elpidio O. Cucio was then appointed City Mayor with Felipe Bautista as the Vice Mayor. In the subsequent local election, they were elected as first elective local officials including Councilors Flor Agustin, Tranquilino dela Cruz, Antonio Pascual, Federico Dacanay, Luis Lacalle and Thomas Lumawig.

Apolinario Esquivel also took over the city’s leadership as City Mayor but for a short stint when Mayor Cucio won an electoral protest.

In 1972, by virtue of Proclamation No.893, portion of the government stock farm was allocated for the displaced population of Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija because of the construction of the dam. The resettlement site was eventually converted into regular barangay known as Marcos Village.

In 1983, the training ground of the Philippine Army was transferred to Fort Magsaysay. This paved the way for the development of the reservation area into a training complex to serve the army’s training requirements.

During the historical EDSA Revolution on February 1986, nationwide overhaul of government leaderships from national to local took place. Don Pacifico M. Fajardo was appointed Officer-In-Charge together with Flor Agustin as OIC Vice Mayor by then President Corazon C. Aquino. Then his brother Engr. Virgilio Fajardo also assumed as OIC.

Then prior to 1987 election, Vice Mayor Felipe Bautista took office as OIC with Councilor Aquiles Salcedo, Sr. as OIC Vice Mayor and on that election, Pacifico M.Fajardo and Mabini Ancheta won the mayoralty and vice mayoralty race respectively.

Significant developments took place during the term of Mayor Fajardo. The first public high school was established, the Palayan City High School. Concreting of long portion of Nueva Ecija- Aurora National Road was implemented. Overflow bridge linking the city to Gen. Natividad, Nueva Ecija was opened and increased of barangays to eighteen and its cadastral survey was initiated that eventually increased the city’s land area from previuos 3,000 hectares to 17,229.80 hectares which means subsequent increased also of its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

In 1989, the 7th Infantry Division of Philippine Army transferred its headquarter from Camp Aquino in Tarlac to Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City and became a strong partner of the local leadership not only in the maintenance of peace and order but in full blast development of the city.

To be credited also to Mayor Pacifico Fajardo’s administration were the segregation of Barangay Militar’s 194 hectares from the military cantonment area pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No.709 in 1991 and the segregation of about 1,000 hectares from the agrarian reform area for industrial, institutional and urban expansion of Palayan City pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 861.

After the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption, Mayor Fajardo opened the door of Palayan City to about 1,500 evacuees in partnership with churches, NGO’s and civic groups. Three resettlement areas were developed, these are: Pinaltakan, Bacao, and Bagong Buhay. Later on, Guyabano, was also developed for other lahar victims.

In the next local election in 1992, Mayor Pacifico Fajardo ran in Congress and his partner was endorsed to take his place. Councilor Juan Bautista, Jr. and City Administrator Roberto C. Bolinao temporarily assumed as mayor and vice mayor respectively. The election was won by the tandem of Mayor Leonora C. Fajardo and Vice Mayor Leonardo C. Juan. It is of significant record that within a month after her assumption to duty, Mayor Fajardo opened the first emergency hospital of the city. Tangible socio-economic activities were accelerated and major infrastructure development initiated. For the first time also, the city government acquired fire trucks and ambulance from donations of SMILE Group of Volunteers, Rotary Club of Izumigaoka and Asian Friendship Society of Japan.

It is also another significant laurel for Palayan City to have been the birthplace of the Asianwide Green Scouts Movement in 1993 when the first RP-Japan Bilatateral Ecology Work Camp was held in the city that eventually led to the establishment of Project: Kawayang Buhay and Asian Ecology Forest being supported by the Asian Friendship Society.

The tangible accomplishments and outstanding performance of the lady City Mayor reelected her to office in May, 1995 local election together with another lady Vice Mayor Bibiana Abesamis. In her last term, Vice Mayor Petronio Garcia was her team mate.

Just for the year 1995, two more barangays were added to Palayan City from 18 to 20. Barangays Popolon formerly of Bongabon was annexed by virtue of RA No. 8030 and approval of the people in a plebiscite on October 1, 1995. Then Bagong Buhay, one of the three resettlement areas was converted to a regular barangay during a plebiscite on November 26, 1995.

Again on November 25- December 2, 1995 Palayan City was the center of international focus when the Asian Friendship Society held its 6th Annual Asian International Network Seminar with 53 delegates from 10 Asian countries.

In the May 2001 election, the tandem of Mayor Ma.Lorelei C. Fajardo and Vice Mayor Romeo V. Capinpin emerged.

The term of Mayor Relly Fajardo was focused on livelihood and economic programs thru dynamic and responsive governance. The city adopted a motto ”Work with a Smile, Serve from the Heart” to instill positive values. Subsequently, it was selected one of the ten cities in the 1st LCP Best Practices Award for its “Smile Bilis Serbisyo Action Program”.

The year 2002 also marked another historical milestone for the city with the transfer of the provincial capitol that finally realized the long dream for Palayan City to become the capital city of the province.

After the hotly contested election in 2004, new city officials assumed their posts’til 2007. BALANE mayoralty bet and former Vice Mayor Romeo V. Capinpin was elected with 1,600 votes margin over re-electionist Mayor Relly Fajardo.

K-4 TEAM Happy vice mayoralty candidate and three termer councilor Moises A. Carmona, Jr. won as the vice mayor over another ex- vice mayor Petronio Garcia.

Mayor Capinpin in his inaugural address assured all Palayanos of responsive and good governance as he appealed for unity and cooperation to all Palayanos to sustain the development of the city as Capital of Nueva Ecija.

The city government has adopted a motto “Kilos Palayano, Aasenso Tayo” and Mayor Capinpin disclosed his priority programs on education, livelihood,social services and agricultural productivity.

In its quest for excellence and initiative for best practices, Palayan City won various regional and national awards in Nutrition, Child Friendly City, Kalasag Award, AME Award, Sandugo Award Best Practice with its Buklod Barangay Cluster Development Strategy and other citations.

Inspite of its laurels and achievements, Palayan City lost one of its barangays Palale to General Tinio due to political boundary dispute after a long legal battle that ended in the Supreme Court. Hence, Palayan now has 19 barangays and its land area reduced to 13,413.80 hectares.

Networking with Asian Friendship Society, International Greenscout Movement, Kiwanis International, YMCA, and Y’s Men’s Club International and establishment of sisterhood relationship with the cities of Laoag, Tarlac, San Fernando, Iriga, Tagaytay, Tuguegarao, Antipolo, Marikina and Makati were done as a strategy to enhance development of the city.

On May 14,2007, the complete ticket of BALANE swept the Palayan City officialdom, 12-0 led by Mayor Romeo V. Capinpin & Vice Mayor Moises Carmona Jr., Councilors elected were Bibiana Abesamis, Eufronio Valdez Sr., Ramon Bernardo, Jose de Dios, Joel Padolina, Jose Piadozo, Jr., Petronio Garcia, Edgardo Pronto, Antonio J. Malang and Ernesto Lutap. ABCF President Pedro Bayan and SK President Romalyn Capinpin joined the Sanggunian Panglungsod as City Councilors. Significant projects during their term are the establishment of the Palayan City Institute of Technology, Palayan City Conference Center, the construction of right and left wings of the City Hall, full blast implementation of Tulong Kabuhayan projects and other significant programs.

Mayor Capinpin pledged to continue and sustain his program thrust dubbed as Responsive and Viable Action Plan for the City.

Year 2008 when the LGU reaped the following honors and awards: Palayan City Rescue Team-Best Rescue Team by the Office of Civil Defense; Palayan City Softball Team won in CLRAA & Palarong Pambansa, Public Employment Service Office recognized by DOLE as one of the best PESOs in the country. It is also in this year when Project: Tinola was launched, a backyard project and development strategy to eradicate poverty.

Year 2009 was also a busy and productive year with various projects and programs implemented. For 44 years, the city was virtually transformed from a “sityo” or “alayan city” to a vibrant & progressive capital of Nueva Ecija and an environment friendly green city in Central Luzon.

In May 2010 election, the tandem of Mayor Romeo V. Capinpin and Vice Mayor Moises A. Carmona, Jr. emerged as winners with 8-2 councilors in favor of their party. The following councilors earned the trust of the people : Councilor Florante G. Mercado, Petronio G. Garcia, Ernesto U. Lutap, Joel V. Padolina, Antonio J. Malang, Jr., Jesusa V. Fajardo, Jose B. Piadozo, Jr., Antonio D. Bautista, Eufronio V. Valdez, Sr. and Edgardo B. Pronto. Captain Pedro R. Bayan, Sr., ABC President and Romalene S. Capinpin, SK Fed. President likewise assumed their seats at Sangguniang Panglungsod.

In their assumption to office, the city’s leadership pledge their commitment and focus on an agenda and program thrust : “Sustainable Development Towards Poverty Alleviation and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation”.

Being on their 3rd and last term as mayor and vice mayor, respectively the Capinpin – Carmona tandem led Palayan as the first LGU in Region III to draft and approved its Executive – Legislative Agenda and its Medium Term Development Plan.

In the annual search for Kalasag Award, Office of Civil Defense and RDRRMC, acknowledged Palayan as the Best City Disaster Coordinating Council in Central Luzon.

It is also of records that Palayan City is the first and perhaps the only LGU in the country that created three important and relevant commissions, the Anti-Poverty Commission, Climate Change Commission and Youth Development Commission patterned after the national level.

On its 45th year as the Capital City of Nueva Ecija, indeed Palayan has metamorphosed to a city of thousand potentials and land of million opportunities. Today, Palayan is a vibrant and dynamic city moving on forward and Palayanos as survivors proud of their past and hardships more than willing to join hands and face the challenges of the times towards peace, progress and prosperity

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