|Former Five-Time Speaker Jose de Venecia in an international forum|
DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines -“It was my P10 billion fund which Tita Cory (former president Aquino) helped to fund the rehabilitation of Dagupan City”.
This was declared recently by five-time former Speaker Jose de Venecia during the 21st anniversary of the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that bellied up this city.
De Venecia, who is known to solve governmental problems of gigantic proportions from conflicting political parties to Spratly’s, said that the P10 billion that was used to rehabilitate not only this city but other cities in Northern and Central Luzon was sourced from the United States, Europe, Japan, and local funds.
“I went to Washington, I went to Europe, and then I went to Tokyo, to explain our disaster,” De Venecia stressed.
The former speaker said that the law he co-authored with former Congressman Rolando Andaya, was known as Republic Act 6960 or Earthquake-Damage-Reconstruction Project.
“And we shared it with Aspiras in Agoo (in La Union), with Baguio,” the former speaker continued, “and we shared the funds with Cabanatuan.”
De Venecia credited former President Aquino whose intercession expedited the passing of the Act.
The former Speaker attended the commemoration of the 21the anniversary of the killer quake at the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral here with his wife Rep. Gina (4th District,Pangasinan), Rep, Kimi Cojuanco (5th District, Pangasinan), and Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
He said some national officials proposed that this devastated city with its collapsed buildings and which sank by one meter, should be abandoned.
But an adamant de Venecia vehemently torpedoed this proposal by criss-crossing the capitals of major countries to convince their leaders to help fund this city’s reconstruction.
As a result, the cityrose from the abyss of the Big One that not only made her a burgeoning city but earned the moniker Bangus (Milkfish) Capital City of the World.