By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Filipino-Chinese tycoon Lucio L. Co is the latest businessman in the country to be conferred honorary mayor here and named as an “adopted son of Bacolod,” during the celebration of the Bacolaodiat Festival.
On behalf of Co, his daughter Camille Clarisse Co Lao and husband, Michael Stephen Lao, received a resolution in relation to the declaration from the City Council headed by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran during its special session at the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) session hall in Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) here last Saturday.
In a resolution approved on January 10, it stated that Co, as chairman of S&R Membership Shopping, has played a pivotal role in investing in this city and the corporation’s investments contributed to the city’s economic growth and progress.
“It is in this resolution that we express our recognition and regard to the goals and aspirations of Mr. Lucio L. Co by declaring him as an adopted son of Bacolod City,” it said.
The resolution also said that, adorned with visionary investments, Co now stands as president of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) establishing a strong financial connection between the corporation and the city.
Co is the chairman of Cosco Capitol Inc., a retail holding company that includes real estate, liquor distribution, oil, and mineral exploration, and other specialty businesses. He is also the chairman of supermarket chain Puregold.
As honorary mayor, Co’s daughter signed on his behalf an executive order constituting the Bacolod Arts and Culture Council (BACC) at the Mayor’s Office, in the presence of city officials led by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez and members of the Filipino-Chinese community here.
A copy of the same executive order will be sent to Co for him to personally sign.
In his message, Benitez thanked Co’s daughter for accepting the prestigious conferment for her father.
Benitez recalled that the city has recognized significant people since 2006. These are Lucio Tan (2006), John Gokongwei Jr. (2013), Henry Sy Sr. (2017), Jose Mari Chan (2018), Dr. Andrew L. Tan (2020), and Kevin Tan (2023).
“This list is no joke, as these are all well-known,” he said.
In a media interview, Benitez said that Co was not able to personally attend the occasion because he was feeling unwell, but he will visit the city once he gets better.
Benitez said that this occasion is about giving recognition to people who have contributed so much to the city. “These are very well-known people, especially in the business industry,” he added.
Benitez said that Co has supported the development of Bredco port facilities, and other businesses here contributing to the economy of the city.
In fact, he said that S&R Membership Shopping will open in March, generating many job opportunities for the Bacolodnons.
In his message, Michael Stephen Lao thanked the city government for giving recognition to his father-in-law.
BACOLOD ARTS AND CULTURE COUNCIL
Based on the executive order, as the city slowly realizes its dream of being a Super City, there is a need to consolidate efforts of the city to boost and strengthen the continued development of the diverse culture and arts in the city.
There is a need to create a Council that will be at the forefront of managing the programs and projects of the city that will enrich and further promote and enhance the culture and arts of the city, the executive order said.
The executive order cited City Ordinance No. 413, series of 2006, as amended by City Ordinance 1002, series of 2022, provided for the establishment of the Arts and Culture Council of Bacolod City, and mandating an Annual Arts and Culture Program in the city.
The BACC will be headed by the city mayor or his designate who shall serve such at the pleasure of the mayor, with Councilor Em Ang, chairperson of the Committee on History Arts & Culture, and Councilor Jason Villarosa, chairman of the Committee on Tourism, as its vice-chairpersons.
The BACC shall prepare an annual plan on culture, arts, and cultral heritage consonant with the Philippine Development Plan for Culture and the Arts to be integrated into the local development plan, formulate programs and recommendations to develop and sustain local cultural and artistic talents, and ensure the protection, preservation, and conservation of the local cultural and historical heritage.
In coordination with the private sector, the BACC shall conduct cultural events such as cultural festivals, competitions, lectures, seminars or symposia, workshops guild, set up exhibits, especially during fiestas, celebrations and other related activities, conduct periodic consultations with all stakeholders to identify grassroots based cultural concerns, issues, and agenda, encourage the development of the local cultural industries, adopt a program that shall encourage, search, develop, promote arts and cultural talents among pupils and students of the city and its out-of-school youth, as well as indigenous and independent artistic and cultural talents among the people of the city, and recommend an arts and culture scholarship program for poor but deserving students or out-of-school youth of the city.
The functions of the BACC were lifted from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2002-81.