Celso hails BSP complex at historic Pettit Barracks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 September 2011 17:02

Mayor Celso Lobregat hailed the inauguration yesterday of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas complex at the historic and scenic Pettit Barracks, this city, stressing the occasion marked another milestone of Zamboang’s colorful history.

“Today, Zamboanga City writes another chapter of its colorful history as we bear witness to the inauguration of this magnificent structure of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in this very historic and scenic part of the city,” Lobregat said, adding that Pettit Barracks was where the US Army’s 43rd Infantry Regiment had stationed during the World War II.

“Shortly after the American invasion,” he said, “the Japanese occupying forces formed their defense headquarters at Pettit Barracks.” “The rest is history. History was made on this site,” he added, for which the National Historical Institute has declared Pettit Barracks as a heritage zone, and the abundance of heritage acacia trees in the area stand witness to the fateful events that unfolded many, many years ago.

The mayor recounted the 31-year history of negotiations between the city government of Zamboanga and the BSP that led to the construction and eventual inauguration of the BSP building yesterday.

“And today, history is written once again for the transformation of the heritage zone into a new landmark of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” the mayor said. He added the BSP building stands marvelously in perfect harmony with the picturesque Paseo del Mar, now undergoing further improvements, Plaza del Pilar, a one-stop-shop pasalubong center, the historic Fort Pilar with the national museum inside and the Shrine of the miraculous Lady of the Pillar on the eastern wall, the Hall of Justice at the back, the Land Bank, DBM and BIR buildings on the other side, not to mention other government structures within th vicinity.

“Pettit Barracks indeed typifies our vision to blend the old and the new together to make Zamboanga City even more vibrant and progressive,” pointed out.

According to him, Zamboanga with its branding as Asia’s Latin City takes pride in being the financial and commercial center of Western Mindanao, owing to the
presence here of 29 commercial and financial banks that boast of 55 branches, serving the banking needs of the people of Zamboanga City and the entire Zamboanga Peninsula including Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

He said the city’s geographical advantage is a key factor that pushed Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to open its branch in Zamboanga City in the early 1990’s.

Like the other BSP branches nationwide, the BSP Zamboanga City Branch performs cash operations, cash administration, and even gold buying operations.

He commended the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the constructor of its imposing structure for keeping the century old acacia trees at Pettit Barracks unscathed, thus preserving its natural beauty. 

The mayor cited city ordinance declaring century old and heritage trees all over the city, making it unlawful to cut them down for purposes of preserving their historical value and promoting eco-tourism.

He also thanked the BSP officials headed by BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. for constructing financial complex that the Zamboanguenos can truly be proud of.

The inauguration of BSP building came at the time when the city is in the thick of preparations for the upcoming Zamboanga Hermosa Festival next month in celebration of Fiesta Pilar on October 12 and to enliven the merry-making mode of the–BER months.-

The inauguration ceremony was keynoted by Gov. Tetangco, who came with members of the Monetary Board— Alfredo Antonio, Ignacio Bunye, Peter Favila, Felipe Medalla, Armando Suratos, and Deputy Governors (Monetary Stability Sector) Diwa Guinigundo, Nestor Espenilla Jr.,  and Jun Zuñiga, Managing Director, Regional Monetary Affairs Sub-sector Pedro Tordilla Jr. and Rosabel Guerrero, Director of the Department of Economic Statistics and many others.

Also present during the affair were Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles and Councilors Myra Paz Abubakar, Lilia Nuño, Rudy Lim, Gerky Valesco, Rommel Agan, Rey Candido, Percival Ramos, Mike Alavar, VP Elago and Rodolfo Bayot, Zamboanga Bankers Association President Norma Candido, Westmincom commander LTGen. Raymundo Ferrer, Westmincom deputy commander Gen. Layug, PNP-9 Deputy Director Gen. Mario Yanga, City Police OIC Director Col. Edwin de Ocampo and other stakeholders. — Vic Larato