PART V DAGUPAN BECOMES A CITY
1. THE CITY CHARTER
Dagupan became a city by virtue of Republic Act 170. This is the law, which is known as the city charter of Dagupan This charter governs the operation of Dagupan as a city.
Authored by then Speaker Eugenio Perez, it was Signed into law by President Manuel A. Roxas on June 20, 1947· By ruling of the Supreme Court, Dagupan became a city on the day the city charter was approved into law June 20, 1847.
2. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 96
On October 15, 1947, President Roxas issued Executive Order No. 96.There were two aims of this executive order: 1) To fix the territorial limits of Dagupan as a city, and 2) to fix the date of the organization of the city government.
As fixed under Executive Order No. 96, Dagupan City was supposed to include the municipalities of San Fabian and Calasiao. The date of inauguration was set for January 1, 1948
To determine whether the people of Calasiao wanted to be integrated into the new city, to be known as"DAGU-CALA CITY" or not, a general conference among the people of Calasiao was held on December 25, 1957.
According to the issue of the PIONEER HERALD of December 29, 1947, the people, who attended the general Meeting, voted five to one against the merger with the new city. The PIONEER HERALD reported that Proceso Domagas, a prominent citizen of Calasiao, who was in favor in the merger with Dagupan, spoke before the crowd. He was the only speaker. The anti-merger ''desisted from speech making.'' This concession notwithstanding, the fusion fizzled out.
3. THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF 1947
When the city charter was signed into law on June 20, 1947, the municipal board was composed of the following: Alipio T. Fernandez, Sr., Mayor Marcelo Balolong, Vice-Mayor Dr. Ricardo B. Villamil, Felipe M. Tanopo, Dr. Toribio Quimosing, Atty. Marcelino V. Villamil, Fabian P. Calimlim, Atty. Liberato LI. Reyna, and Rodolfo de Venecia, councilors, with Paulino Cabugao as municipal board secretary.
If we go by the Supreme Court ruling, that the Dagupan became a city on June 20, 1947, the forgoing shall have to be recognized as the first members of the municipal board of Dagupan City.
4. THERE WAS CONFUSION
The enactment of Republic act 170, and the promulgation of executive Order No. 96 on October 15, 1947 created a confusion among Dagupenos.
In this atmosphere of confusion, the Commission on Election held an election in Dagupan on November 10, 1947. The confusion arose from the attempt to include Calasiao as a part of the city. Except for the position of vice-mayor, there was a complete ticket from mayor down to councilors for both the Nacionalista and Liberal parties.
The mayoralty bet of the Nacionalista Party was Boy Scout Executive Juan Saingan; he was opposed by Businessman Sabas Collado of the Liberal Party. Realtor Doninador "Ador" Catubig ran for vice mayor. He was unopposed. After the balloting, Saingan won the polls. The complete list of winners in that poll was as follows: Mayor Juan Saingan; Vice Mayor Dominador Catubig ;Councilors: Liberato LI. Reyna, Amado LI. Ayson, Teodorico Caramat, Pedro Tandoc, Teofilo P. Guadiz, Policronio de Venecia, Flaviano Mejia and Ruperto Z. Tandoc.
5. THE INAUGURATION
As the people of Calasiao rejected the merger with Dagupan into the new city, President Roxas was constrained to issue a new executive order (Executive Order No. 115) dated Decenber 31, l947.
The new decree amended :Executive Order No. 96 by limiting the territory of the new city to the jurisdiction of the old municipality of Dagupan only. It excluded Calasiao.
It fixed the date of inauguration of the city for January 1, 1948. Acting Executive Secretary Nicanor Roxas came to Dagupan to induct into office the new set of officials, which included the following: City Mayor: Angel B, Fernandez; City Councilors: Liberato Ll. Reyna, Amado LI. Ayson, Teodorico Caramat, Pedro Tandoc, Dr. Ricardo B.. Villamil, Dr. Pedro Balolong, Dr. Toribio Quimosing, and Don Crisologo Zarate.
The various heads of departments, who were also installed, were. City Treasurer, Emeterio Delos Santos; City Auditor, Brigido Martinez; City Assessor, Marcelino Villamil; City Fiscal, Jose D. Parayno; Municipal Judge, Juanuario Hermitano; Chief of Police, Felipe LI. Cuison; City Health Officer, Dr Ignacio C. de Guzman; City Engineer: Vicente Oleadin; City Superintendent of Schools, Federico Piedad.
6. THE QUO WARRANTO PROCEDING
Among the Nacionalistas, who won in the November 10, 1947 elections, only one was seated when the city inaugurated on January 1, l948, This was City Councilor Pedro Tandoc. The victory of the others were ignored.
Saingan, who won as mayor in the 1947 polls, was not seated. The reason was, the city charter (Republic Act 170) provide that the city Mayor shall be appointed into office by the President of the Philippines.
In the exercise of this power granted under Republic Act 170, President Roxas appointed Angel B. Fernandez, a Liberal. Catubig, on the other hand, who was unopposed in the 1947 polls, had nowhere to go. There was no position for city vice mayor under the city charter.
The Nacionalistas, who won as councilors in the 1947 polls, but were not seated during the inauguration of the city, filed a QUO WARRANTO proceeding before the Supreme Court. They included Teofilo P. Gaudiz, Policronio de Venecia, Flaviano I Mejia and Ruperto Tandoc.
The purpose of the QUO WARRANTO proceeding was for the court to recognize them as the duly elected city councilors of Dagupan, and for the court to order that they be seated as such. After almost two years of litigation, the Supreme Court decided the case in favor of the petitioners. Thus, Guadiz, de Venecia, Mejia and Ruperto Tandoc were seated as city councilors.
In ordering that they be seated as city councilors the Supreme Court ruled that Dagupan became a city on June 20, 1947, the day President Roxas signed Republic 170, the city charter, into law. As a logical sequence to this, the court considered the election of the councilors in the 1947 polls as valid. Thus the court ordered that they be seated as city councilors.
7. POPULATION AND INCOME
Based on the population census of 1960, the approximate population of Dagupan in 1947, when it became a city was roughly 60,000.
Its initial income as a city, based on the papers of Don Angel Fernandez, who was city mayor from 1945 to 1953, a period of six years, was approximately P540,880.25 This was broken down as follows: 1) General Fund, 334,998.55, 2) Streets & Bridges, P48,950.00; 3) Water works P28,177.65; 4) Cemetery, P315.00; 5) Intermediate Schools, P73,239.03( and 6) High Schools, P55,200.·00. The foregoing income represents the budgetary estimate for the fiscal year 1948-1949.
8. NO NEW TAXES
Former City Mayor Fernandez told this writer that during the first six years of the city, his Administration did not impose any new tax upon the people.
He said there was fear among the people in 1947 that the conversion of the town into a city might bring about heavy tax burdens upon the people. To prove to the citizens that Dagupan could operate smoothly without imposing any extra burden upon the people, former Mayor Fernandez said his administration refrained from imposing any new tax.
9. FRONTIER MOVES SOUTHWARDS
Roads bring about progress. Fully aware of this fact, City Mayor Angel B, Fernandez constructed the Perez Boulevard. This road extends from Mayombo to Tapuac, passing through the edge of Pogo Chico. This was in 1948.
It serves as a diversion road for people travelling between Manila and Lingayen, who may not wish to be delayed by the usual heavy traffic in the downtown area of the city. The construction of Perez Boulevard actually pushed southward the frontier of the city. Today, the Perez boulevard area is fast becoming the second commercial center of Dagupan.
To complement the construction of the Perez Boulevard, Mayor Fernandez likewise constructed the Perez boulevard market, on the bank of the river.
10. LUZON COLLEGES
The Luzon Colleges is a pioneer in the expansion of the city towards Pogo. Some 15 individuals founded this institution on July 2, 1948.
The founders were Luis F. Samson, Liberato LI. Reyna, Servillano B. Romasanta, Basilio F. Fernandez, Moises A.Maramba, Isidro Z. Tandoc, Jose D. Fenoy, Ruperto Z. Tandoc, Catalino C. Coquia, Federico I. Cervas, Victoriano C. Daroya, Vicente de Leon, Constancio Ancheta, Pedro B. Pinero and Brigido Martinez.
Since its foundation, Atty. Luis F, Samson served as the school president. A Bataan veteran who received some seven military decorations for his services during the war, he was also cited as Educator of the Year for 1966 by the American Legion Post 21, and given the "Outstanding CPA in Education" award by the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1969.
He obtained his degree in commerce, major in accounting from the Far Eastern University and his Master of Arts (major in accounting) from the Jose Rizal College. He finished law from the Dagupan Colleges (now University of Pangasinan) and is member of the bar. He was formerly a dean of Commerce of the Dagupan Colleges.
11. THE NORTHWESTERN
Another school, which contributed to the rapid economic and social growth of Dagupan is the Northwestern Educational Institution (NEI).
Dr. Deogracias Castaneda and his wife Esperanza Gonzales-Castaneda founded Northwestern in 1951. Its first location was the Galvan-Cabrera building on Jose Torres Bugallon Avenue in downtown Dagupan. When this building was burned in 1968, it was relocated to its present site in Mayombo.
Dr. Castaneda, the founder of the school, held a doctorate degree in philosophy. In 1960, he was appointed as Commissioner of the Code Commission. Since then, the administration of the school passed to the hands of Mrs. Castaneda.
A Catholic lay leader, Mrs. Castaneda is regent of the daughters of Isabela. She was one time president of the Agno Valley PRISA, a member of the soroptimist club, and the adviser of the Dagupan Young Professional Association. She was a recipient of the "most outstanding Educator of Pangasinan" given by the Dagupan Lawyers League.
12. GUADIZ PERPORMANCE
City mayor Teofilo Guadiz first assumed the city executive position on January 1, 1954 to September 12, 1957 and for the second time on June 16, 1958 to December 31,1959.
As mayor, He followed up the projects of his predecessor. He secured pork barrel funds from Senator Cipriano Primicias, Sr. and constructed a two-story semi-permanent building for the city high school. This replaced the Quonset huts of Don Angel Fernandez.
He replaced the Bieley temporary Bridge in Perez Boulevard with a concrete Bridge. At the same time, He extended the Rizal Street, which was only then from Torres Bugallon to Rivera Street, up to Iglesia ni Cristo compound. Also, he extended Galvan Street, which was then up to Gomez Street only, up to Perez Boulevard.
After 25 years, The areas close to Perez Boulevard, Rizal and Galvan streets have progressed tremendously, These areas used to be idle swamps.
13. NAZARETH GENERAL HOSPITAL
At the foot of Magsaysay Bridge close to intersection of Perez Boulevard and Rizal Street was the Eliptical building. This was the Nazareth General Hospital. It is fast becoming a landmark in the city. The original two-story structure was erected on the spot on September 22. 1968.
This institution has a beautiful building behind it. The origin of this hospital was in Arellano Street put up a lady physician on June 7, 1959. Its founder was Dr. Generosa Oreta-Dizon.
A native of Malaban, Rizal, she migrated to Dagupan with her husband in 1927. She was the first woman to practice medicine in Dagupan. It is said that she delivered about one half of the babies born in Dagupan from 1927 up the outbreak of war.
When Dra. Oreta-Dizon died in 1961, Her daughter Caridad, also a physician, took over the clinic. It was Caridad and her husband, Dr. Edmundo G. Exconde, who expanded the two-bed clinic into what is now Nazareth General Hospital.
Caridad's father, Elpidio Y. Dizon, was himself a physician of great accomplishments. He was a native from Lingayen. He studied in the University of the Philippines, where he met Dra. Generosa Oreta. After graduating from their medical courses, they got married in Dagupan.
Dr. Dizon was an Ear-Eyes-Nose and-Throat (EENT) Specialist. Upon arriving in Dagupan he joined the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital. There were few physicians then, and there were still fewer EENT specialists in the whole country. News of his competence in his line spread far and wide and his services were in great demand.
"My father used to operate as many as seven times a day," Caridad recalled to us. "He was so overworked, and because of this, he died early.", his daughter said.
One day, Dr. Dizon had a celebrity for a patient. It was Elsa Oria, the singing sweetheart of Philippine movies in the 1930s. She came all the way from Manila to Dagupan. She needed a throat specialist.
"News of Elsa Orias' presence in our house spread in town like wildfire. Very soon the house was jam-packed with people wanting to see the famous movie star in person," Caridad recalls.
The Oreta-Dizon had six children. Aside from Caridad, the others were Fe, a pharnacist; Perla another physician; Generosa, a nutritionist; Jose an architect and Elpidio, a commercial artist. Besides putting up the hospital, the Oreta-Dizons are also engaged in the real-estate and subdivision business.
14. MAYOR REYNA
Sometime in 1968, the national Goverment was decentralized. Regional offices of the national government were established in key cities of the various regions of the country. Dagupan was a direct beneficiary of this development. Soon regional offices of the national Government were put up in the city.
By the time Mayor Liberato LI. Reyna took over as city executive, he was confronted with the problem of congestion in the downtown area.
Traffic was clogged, and the market spilled over into the street. This was the effect of population increase resulting from the establishments of the regional offices in the city. Responding to the situation, Mayor Reyna built the Supermarket building to expand our market facilities. He also decongested traffic by declaring Jose Torres Bugallon Avenue a one-way street for passenger vehicles. Traffic was rerouted to Perez Boulevard. This move accelerated the growth of business towards Pogo along the Perez boulevard area.
This prompted Don Pedro Fernandez and the Caguioa-Siapno clan to invest in commercial buildings in the area. Today, more and more commercial buildings are being put up along Perez Boulevard.
15. THE STRONG EARTHQUAKE
Dagupan was shaken by a series of strong earthquakes about the middle of June of 1962. The tower of the Roman Catholic Church fell and many buildings in the city cracked. The tremors occurred at irregular intervals for about three weeks.
The epicenter of the earthquake was in Calmay. Many people were scared. Later, there arose a rumor that a big tidal wave will hit the city as a result of the series of strong tremors,
Many people from Calmay, Carael and island barrios evacuated to other towns. Some were so scared that they started selling their properties. The value of property in Calmay and the surrounding areas went down. Geologists claim the earthquake was caused by fissure some miles below the surface of the earth in Calmay.
16. THE EXPANSION WESTWARD
After the Franklin Bridge in Calmay was destroyed in the big flood of 1935, then Governor Servillano dela Cruz started the construction of a new road to connect Dagupan and Lingayen. This is now a part of MacArthur highway, which passes through Tapuac and Lucao.
The new road was completed before the outbreak or the Pacific war, but the bridges along with the roadline in Binmaley were destroyed by the retreating USAFFE forces, who left Lingayen for Bataan in 1941.
The bridges were restored after Gen. MacArthur liberated Pangasinan, and the roadline was opened to traffic again.
With the transfer of the Dagupan City High School from Jose Torres Bugallon Avenue in the poblacion area to Tapuac in 1946, the city started to expand westward. As of 1972, there were six schools and colleges established in Tapuac: The city high school, the Dagupan Vocational School, Edna Torio's Kindergarten and Grade school, Blessed Imelda's Academy, the Dagupan City School in Nursing and the Mother Goose Playskool.
Tapuac used to be a vast swampland. There once was a huge natural basin in the area, which was filled with water the whole year round. It collected rainwater, about 14 feet deep. People called the basin INARANGAN. In the natural course of events, this Inarangan was filled by a slow process, until it became very shallow. The gradual filling of the basin with soil erosion and other waste matters gave the place its name: TAPUAC. This is a Pangasinan word which describes the natural filling of the basin with solid particles until it becomes a flatland.
Aside from the six schools in Tapuac, the area has become the site of housing subdivisions. GREENFIELD subdivision makes a very interesting sociological study. Composed of middle income families, it is fast becoming a community within a community developing a character all its own.
While the total growth of the community is the result of the collective endeavor of the homeowners of the Subdivision, credit·for pioneering the development of the subdivision belongs to Pepito Bautista and his wife, Lolita Mejia.
As of 1972 the two-room bungalow in the GREENFIELDS Subdivision could be rented for P2000.00 a month.
The westward expansion of the city has gone as far as Lucao. as of this writing, there are two commercial buildings in Lucao: the regional office of the FILIPINAS LIFE :INSURANCE CO., and the MILLORA building. There were also two coffee shops and restaurants serving the business needs in the area, Lucao is also the home of radio station DWIN
LUCAO may have derived its name from the shelled-fish called in the dialect LUKAN. Former City Councilor Alejandro S. Decano, who was born and grew in Lucao, claims that when he was a sill boy about 40 years ago, there used to be a very wide swampland in the barrio. It served as a community fishing Ground. This had abundant LUKAN and the people referred to the place as LUKANAN. This may have been the origin of the barrio's name. The word LUKAN may have been corrected by time into Lucao.
17. THE TRICYCLES
Early in the 1960s, the predominant system of transportation in the downtown Dagupan was the calesa. Horse manure on the street blown by the wind was the source of constant complaint.
As the decade of the 1960 closed, the tricycle had completely taken over the streets from the calesa. The tricycle is a product of Filipino ingenuity. It consists of a motorcycle with a sidecar attached to it. The sidecar is capable of two regular passengers.
As a system, of transportation, its operation is permitted officially by the city government for the following reasons: it has created jobs for about 1,000 tricycle drivers, and the city government derives a sizeable income from the municipal tax it imposes upon tricycles operators.
18. THE MASS MEDIA
As of 1977, there were seven radio stations operating in Dagupan: DZRI, the pioneer; DZTD, DZWN, DWIN, DZRD, DZDL, DZMQ and the government relay station in Bonuan.
DZRI is opened by the ABS-CBN of the Lopez clan: DZTD is owned by the Manila Times Publishing- Company; DZWN is owned by Anthony Villanueva of Ilocos Sur; DWIN is owned by the private corporation composed of members of the Iglesia ni Kristo; DZRD is owned by the Kanlaon Broadcasting System; DZDL is owned by Mr. Ng of Quezon City.
There were four regularly published newspapers as of 1972: three weeklies and one bi-monthly. They were: The STANDARD, by Rustico Mendoza; SUNDAY PUNCH, founded by the late Ermin Erfe Garcia, now taken over by his son, Ermin Jr., the Courier, published by the Pangsinan Review Inc,, and the Tribunal, owned by a corporation. The STANDARD was the first attempt to publish biweekly newspaper in Dagupan.
19. THE OTHER FACILITY
The 1970 Census of Population and Housing placed the population of Pangasinan Dagupan, as over 83,000 some 40,000 of which were males, while 43,000 were females. The women outnumbered the men by 3,000.
Daytime population of the city, however, was estimated at 100,000. About 17,000 people were estimated commuting between Dagupan and its environs daily.
There were six theaters serving the city and, its neighboring towns: Vina, Vida, Twin, Vilmand, Dave and Jade. Vina was air-conditioned, the only one of its kind in the city. There was one mental hygiene clinic, seven Hospitals and seven medical clinics including one for skin and venereal diseases.
20. LITERACY AND BUILDING
Of the 83,000 population of Dagupan, some 59,231 were 10 years of age and over. Of these, about 53,231 were considered literate, while some 5,684 were considered illiterates. There were 13,592 buildings of all types; 11,990 single units; 2'76 duplex; 841 apartments; 348 barong-barongs, 116 commercial.
Congress through the Local Autonomy Act of 1953 created the present position of city vice mayor; the same law made the position of city mayor elective.
Go Back to History of Dagupan Outline