Zambo remembers Mam Caling on 12th death anniv PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 January 2016 11:49

People representing the cross section of the city trooped to the Jardin Maria Clara at the Pasonanca Park Saturday Morning, January 2, in commemoration of the 12th death anniversary of Congresswoman and later Mayor Maria Clara “Mam Caling” Lobregat.

Spearheaded by Mayor Beng Climaco, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and Congresspersons Celso Lobregat and Lilia Nuno, the activity started with the 7am mass at the Holy Trinity Parish in Pasonanca officiated by Fr. Michael Ufana followed by the wreath-laying rite and the commemorative program at the Jardin Maria Clara.

In her message, Mayor Climaco thanked all those who turned up for the event organized by the City Government in honor of the first woman mayor of Zamboanga, whose efforts then as representative of the lone district of Zamboanga and later as mayor have contributed much to the welfare and interests of the residents of the city.

Talking on behalf of the Lobregat family, Cong. Lobregat likewise thanked the local government for organizing the event and expressed gratitude as well to the different sectors for never missing out the yearly activity.

The congressman rekindled fond memories with his mother, Mam Caling, and recounted the crucial hours before and after Mam Caling’s death 12 years ago.

Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat was mayor of Zamboanga from 1998-2001 and from 2001 until her untimely demise in Jan. 2, 2004. In 1971, she was a delegate representing Zamboanga City in the Constitutional Convention. She was thrice elected representative of the lone district of Zamboanga in the House of Representatives, first in 1987, second in 1992 and third in 1995.

She authored or co-authored various measures of national and local importance. These included the landmark legislation for Zamboanga City, Republic Act No. 7903, the “Act Creating the Special Economic Zone and Freeport in Zamboanga City,” more popularly known as the ZAMBOECOZONE LAW. The law was envisioned to usher Zamboanga City into a new age of economic development. Congresswoman Lobregat also authored Republic Act No. 7272, which converted the Zamboanga Regional Hospital into the Zamboanga City Medical Center, now a major medical facility in Southwestern Mindanao. She likewise authored Republic Act No. 7474, which converted the Zamboanga School of Arts and Trades into a polytechnic college, referred to then as the Zamboanga City Polytechnic College.

In 1991, Congress approved her bill declaring October 12 of every year a special non-working holiday in Zamboanga to celebrate Fiesta Pilar, now embodied in Republic Act No. 7350. It was through her initiative and efforts that Zamboanga City became a recipient of more than P325 million in various infrastructure and other projects from the national government.

Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat died on January 2, 2004 due to diabetes complications at the age of 82 years old. Zamboangueños from all walks of life mourned her demise. — Sheila Covarrubias