By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Cebu Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa is proposing to declare December 4 of every year a special non-working holiday in Cebu and a working holiday in the rest of the country in honor of the late Senator Sergio V. Osmeña Jr.
He filed House Bill No. 5711 seeking to officially honor Osmeña, son of former President Sergio Osmeña Sr. who served as senator, governor, and mayor of Cebu.
Under the bill, Abellanosa described Osmeña, fondly known to Cebuanos as “Serging,” as “a visionary Cebuano who rightfully deserves to be recognized for his contributions to the modernization of Cebu City and the province of Cebu.”
During Osmeña’s stint as governor of Cebu, he purged the provincial and municipal governments of civil service violators.
“He initiated Cebu’s infrastructural revolution and introduced the first significant Public-Private Partnership with the Cebu City North Reclamation Project,” he said.
“He was also the first to propose the bridge connecting Mactan and Cebu and broach the idea of closing the substandard and dangerous Lahug Airport and opening one in Mactan,” he added.
The bridge is now known as the Sergio Osmeña Bridge and airport is now known as the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
“He has definitely been instrumental in leading our fellowmen towards the economic success and continued growth that we are enjoying now,” Abellanosa stressed.
He noted that during the Japanese occupation, Osmeña served as an intelligence agent for the Filipino resistance.
In August 1971, he was critically wounded during a bombing, while actively participating in an opposition rally in Manila, along with 83 others, 10 of whom died from injuries they sustained, he said.
“He died of respiratory failure in 1984 while in exile in the United States as he continued to stand by the principles of democracy,” Abellanosa said.
House Bill 5711 seeks to declare December 4 of every year a special non-working holiday in the city of Cebu and the province of Cebu with its component cities and a special working holiday in the rest of the country in honor of Osmeña.