Subject: pn: City not part of Zamboanga del Sur
By Felino M. Santos
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Feb. 26 (PNA) ”The City Council has taken steps to correct the impression, "perpetrated even by government offices," that Zamboanga City is a part of Zamboanga del Sur.
Some official envelopes are still addressed: "Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur," although the mails are coursed through this city to the province.
The city was never a part of Zamboanga del Sur because it was created a city from the old Zamboanga province by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 39, signed by then Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon on Oct. 12, 1936.
Incidentally, Zamboanga is celebrating its 62nd anniversary as a city today, the day President Quezon swore into office the first set of appointive officials in ceremonies held in this city on Feb. 26, 1937.
City Councilor Maribel Climaco said "it is time that we correct this misinformation about Zamboanga City and the province of Zamboanga del Sur."
The creation of the City over 62 years ago, by virtue of the Charter, was by carving out the city from the old province of Zamboanga.
Actually, Zamboanga was made a municipality, the first one in Mindanao to be so created, a year after the Americans took over the Philippines with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1898.
Zamboanga municipality was composed of two districts, Zamboanga and Tetuan, Zamboanga being the town proper centered around Fort Pilar, while Tetuan was an adjoining populous village (now the most populous barangay).
From 1903 to 1913, Zamboanga was made the capital (not a city yet) of the Moro Province comprising the entire Mindanao mainland and the Sulu Archipelago.
At that time, there were five districts in Mindanao, created by the Americans: Davao, Cotabato, Sulu, Lanao and Zamboanga.
The Americans governed Mindanao from Zamboanga and its main administrative building was what is now city hall: a brick, concrete and wood structure constructed in 1907 with architects brought in from the United States.
The governing body of the Moro Province, the Legislative Council, passed an act on Sept. 15, 1911 converting the municipality of Zamboanga into a city with a commission form of government.
This city status of Zamboanga was short lived, from Jan. 1, 1912 with the appointment of an American, Christopher Bader as the first city mayor, succeeded by Victoriano Tarrozan when Bader resigned in 1914.
The Americans reduced the status of Zamboanga to a Military Station on April 22, 1914 and a few months later reverted it to a municipality.
Thus, the creation of Zamboanga as a chartered city on Oct. 12, 1936, during the Commonwealth regime, was from the old Zamboanga Province, and not from Zamboanga del Sur.
Councilor Climaco said there is no record available to prove that Zamboanga del Sur existed at all.
It was only on June 6, 1962 when the province of Zamboanga was divided into the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur by virtue of Republic Act No. 711.
"Zamboanga City was therefore never a part of the Province of Zamboanga del Sur, as some government records try to show, in their postal addresses," Climaco said.
Initially, the chartered city of Zamboanga of 62 years ago included the island of Basilan, making the city, the largest city in the world at that time with an area of 278,000 hectares.
Then, Basilan was separated and became a province by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 356 of Dec. 25, 1973.
Several government offices continue to receive letters addressed to "Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur."
Climaco said the city council resolution requested the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which can circularize the information to other agencies of government. (PNA) SS/wpt/cmc/FMS/
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