BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The business community in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City honored the legacy of the late governor, Alfredo “Freddie” Marañon Jr.
Frank Carbon, Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer, said the business group had worked with Marañon for many years, “We could say, it’s a life lived to the fullest,” he said.
Among the projects they had worked with the late governor were on livestock, blue swimming crab, and very recently, his white shrimps’ venture, Carbon said.
He added that Marañon was a politician by profession but a farmer at heart.
He also said that Marañon’s priority programs on education have defined his public life, as the former governor used to say that education is a great equalizer.
He said that Marañon’s compassionate heart and passion for educating the underprivileged gave birth to the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center and the scholarship program of the province.
“To us, that’s the real and everlasting legacy of Gov. Freddie for the Negrenses and his beloved province,” Carbon said.
Marañon, 84, passed away in a hospital in Bacolod City Thursday night due to complications associated with his cardiac health.
A farmer and an engineer, he started his public life in the 1960s when he won as Sagay councilor. He later became vice mayor then elected as mayor and congressman of the second district. He was also an assemblyman.
Among his notable accomplishments as a public servant was the establishment of the Sagay Marine Reserve, which covers 32,000 hectares of the Visayan Sea.
He also signed an executive order declaring Negros Occidental as “coal-free” and a renewable energy province following the youth-led protest against the proposed coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City.
He also lobbied for the creation of the Negros Island Region, which integrated the two Negros provinces into one region. Former president Benigno Aquino ordered its creation in 2015, but was dissolved by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.
Marañon also considered the Negros First Comprehensive Health Insurance Program, which grants free out-patient care to registered families and individuals, as one of his successful initiatives.*