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Mayor declares July 18 Simplicio Palanca Day

Simplicio Palanca’s contribution to the building of the Pope John Paul II Tower earned him a Papal Award from the Diocese of Bacolod.* Ronnie Baldonado photo

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia has issued an executive order declaring Sunday, July 18, 2021, as “Atty. Simplicio A. Palanca Day” in Bacolod to bestow upon him the city’s “sincerest appreciation and profound gratitude.”

Leonardia, in Executive Order No. 38, said the city recognizes the invaluable contribution and colossal impact of Palanca “to its economic landscape and for his fearless vision of a highly-developed and competitive city in the country.”

Palanca, 98, passed away on July 10, and will be buried at his family’s mausoleum in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, on Sunday.

Palanca, born on March 12, 1923, was an entrepreneur and philanthropist fondly dubbed as the “the old man by the sea” and “the man who saw tomorrow”, and has become a prominent pillar of Bacolod City, the mayor said in his EO.

Palanca founded the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp., which reclaimed the 250-hectare shoreline of Bacolod City establishing a seaport and harbor facility. This project opened the gateway to Bacolod and Negros Occidental, and has propelled the economy of the city, opening tourism windows and providing jobs and opportunities for Bacolodnons, Leonardia said.

“His dream of a progressive and highly developed Bacolod City is exemplary,” he added.

The mayor added that Palanca, as a philanthropist, was instrumental in the construction of one of the landmarks of Bacolod City, the Pope John Paul II Tower, on the exact location where Pope John Paul II celebrated the Holy Mass in 1981.

Palanca’s humanitarian propensity also led him to donate P70 million for the construction of the Medical Arts Building of the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center that serves as doctors’ clinics, a pharmacy, and physical therapy service, the mayor added.

Palanca with his strong sense of civic virtue extended service and financial contributions to charities and missions where numerous less-privileged but deserving students have been recipients of his kindness and generosity through scholarship programs that uplifted the lives of many Bacolodnons, the mayor also said.

Palanca has also been awarded various awards and recognitions. His contribution to the building of the Pope John Paul II Tower earned him a Papal Award from the Diocese of Bacolod, and in 2017, he was the recipient of the Ang Banwahanon Award, the highest award bestowed by the Bacolod City Government on its citizens in recognition of their outstanding works and achievements which made great impact to the community, Leonardia said.*

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