The Senate has expressed its sympathy to the family of former Negros Occidental governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.
During their plenary session on Tuesday, the senators unanimously adopted Senate Resolution No. 544 honoring Marañon who passed away last October 1 due to cardiac complications.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who introduced the resolution, said Marañon, a farmer, environmentalist and enthusiast of organic agriculture, catapulted Negros Occidental into a food sufficient agricultural province. He said the former governor’s “Negros First!” campaign also created several opportunities for his constituents.
During his term, as much as 15,000 hectares of land were turned into organic farms with around 12, 920 farmers working on it, Zubiri said.
“He championed the cause of the environment. In March, 2019, Marañon declared Negros Occidental as coal-free as he prohibited the entry of coal-fired power plants in the province,” he said.
As an environmentalist, Zubiri said Marañon established the 32,000 hectare Sagay Marine Reserve in the 1970s and made Negros Occidental a major ecotourism spot in the country.
He said the marine reserve is composed of Carbine Reef, Macahulom and Panal Reef, as well as Molocaboc Daku and Diot islands and the Suyac islet, which are known for their sand beaches, various fishes, seas turtles, migratory birds, coral formations and other marine wonders, as well as the centuries-old mangrove trees.
He said Marañon also signed an Executive Order declaring that only clean and renewable sources of energy should be allowed in the province.
“His passing is a great loss not only to his bereaved family and the Negrenses but to the entire Filipino nation as well,” Zubiri said.
Other senators also paid tribute to Marañon and were made co-authors of the measure.
“I would like to express our sincere condolences to the Marañon family. I have not really been that long in politics but I remembered that when I was a neophyte candidate, he was actually very gracious, accepting us and helping us in Negros,” Sen. Grace Poe said.
“And just knowing about all the things that he’s done for Negros, he was a formidable leader,” she added.
Marañon, born on December 21, 1935, served as governor of Negros Occidental from 2010 to 2019. Before this, he started his career in government in 1964 as a councilor of Sagay where he was later elected as vice mayor. In 1972, he was elected as mayor of the city.
In 1992, he was elected as vice governor of the Negros Occidental province.
He also won a congressional seat in 1995 and served for three consecutive terms.