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A short biography of Gov. Erico Aumentado
« on: June 24, 2007, 10:42:54 AM »
By Loy Palapos

Poverty is not a hindrance to success. Gov. Erico B. Aumentado epitomizes the aforequoted adage and conventional wisdom. He rose from a very humble beginning and worked his way from the primary grades. When he was orphaned at eight years old by his father’s death, through college he was always at the top of his class, to become a scholar, journalist, lawyer, civic and religious leader, senior provincial board member, Vice Governor and Congressman for three terms and the first Boholano deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, chairman of the 52-member Visayas Bloc of Congressmen, and today, second-term Governor of the Province of Bohol; ready to serve for a third term.

Governor Aumentado was born on May, 1940 in Ubay, Bohol. He is happily married to former Grenie Adlaon Aumentado, with whom he has eight children who are all professionals now working in the United States and the Philippines, and ten grandchildren.

As an outstanding student and scholar, he was elected Chairman of the Student Council Association of the Philippines National Convention in 1961, the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) Vice President in 1961 to 1963. He was also the most bemedalled guilder during his time, winning the Mitra Medal in campus journalism as then editor of the Rafael Palma Collegian, and champion orator and debater.

He started his professional journalism career as a staff member of the Bohol Chronicle in 1959 and then as columnist of the Bohol Chronicle hard hitting column, “Between Extremes”. Later, he was hired as provincial correspondent of the leading national newspaper before Martial Law, The Manila Times, which was published by the legendary Don Chino Reyes, and the People’s Journal.

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As a lawyer, he was chosen as “Outstanding Lawyer of 1974” for bringing justice within the reach of the poor by the Citizens Legal Aid Society of the Philippines (CLASP) headed by then Senator Salvador Laurel.

Aumentado is an acknowledged outstanding civic leader, having been president of the Tagbilaran City Host Lions Club, Cabinet secretary, deputy governor and vice governor of Lions District 301-B. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) and Couples for Christ, and acknowledged as a builder of Roman Catholic Churches or their appurtenances.

As a senior provincial board member, he negotiated with the NPAs headed by Kumander Vargas for the recall of their demands for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to pay the insurgents P7.1 million as access fee for JICA’s multi-billion pesos supported projects in Bohol sometime in 1990. The recall paved way for the fast-tracked implementations of the Capayas Irrigation Project, Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project, Bohol Irrigation Project and the Leyte-Bohol Interconnection Project.

As a Congressman, he is best remembered by his peers for two unprecedented events. First, he stood for 12 hours to defend the General Appropriations Act of 1999 as Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations sometime on October 1998. It was the longest budget defense registered in Congress. Second, he stood alone as Chairman of the Committee on Ethics to foil the House resolution asking the Supreme Court to allow Zamboanga del Norte Congressman Romeo Jalosjos, an alleged rape convict of a minor, to attend the sessions and public committee hearings of the House of Representatives pending the final resolution of his case by the Highest Tribunal. His valiant effort triggered the withdrawal by about 40 congressmen of their signatures out of 119 resolution signatories, which led to the defeat of the measure on the floor during the marathon debate on the issue in 1999 and for which he was cited by the Philippine Daily Inquirer Columnist Belinda Olivarez-Cunanan in a rare public commendation for a solon.

He was one of the keynote speakers in the 102nd IPU Conference held in Berlin, Germany from October 10-16, 1999 and the only member of the House of Representatives invited to speak on “Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and International Drug Control” before the United Nations General Assembly, New York, USA on December 17-24, 1999.

He led the Philippine Delegation composed of Senators and Congressmen to the 2001 Asian Inter-Parliamentary Organization (AIPO) in Singapore where he delivered the Philippine Position on various concerns in Asia including the Spratly Islands flash points.

He was chosen by the Philippine News Agency as One of the Top Ten Performers in the 10th Congress for filling 133 bills on national and local applications, including the Limited Portability Scheme (RA 7699), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation Act of 1995 (RA 7875), Agricultural Tariffication Act of 1998 (RA 8555), GSIS Act of 1997 (RA 8291), Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1998 (RA 8178), Home Guaranty Corporation Act of 2000 (RA 8763) and the Fair Election Act (RA 9006), among others.

He was also cited by then Pres. Fidel V. Ramos as the “Philippine 2000 Advocate for Bohol’s Development” for securing flagship projects such as the Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project Phase I (BCRIP I), Leyte-Bohol Interconnection Project Phase I (LBIP I) and the Bohol Irrigation Project Stage I (BHIP I) and other vital projects amounting to P6.9 billion and other strategic projects mostly for the Second District of Bohol during his first two terms as congressman.

Moreover, he was elected unopposed by his peers as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives on July 24, 2000 and then as Chairman of the 5-man Visayas Bloc of Congressmen which sponsored the multi-billion pesos Trans-Visayas Intermodal Transport Network System (TRANS-VIS LINK) approved by Congress and designated to establish Ro-Ro Ports, fast-crafts services and access highways in the Visayas provinces, cities and municipalities. The feat earned him distinction as the First Boholano solon to be elected to the position of Deputy Speaker and leader of the Visayas Bloc.

He was elected Provincial Governor of Bohol winning by a landslide victory on May 14, 2001. He duplicated the feat in 2004, and is expected to make another overwhelming victory in the incoming May polls.

Governor Aumentado was elected Chairman of the Central Visayas Regional Development council when 42 out of 49 members voted for him overwhelmingly, and was then appointed by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the post, and likewise elected as chairman of the Central Visayas League of Provinces of the Philippines. Another recognition of his competence was shown with his winning the Presidency of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, and ULAP (Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines), two positions which earned him a seat in the President’s Cabinet. His poverty reduction and conveyance program has paid off, with Bohol now taken out from the list as one of the poorest provinces in the Country. This triggered the Galing Pook Foundation to give the Province the Award for Continuing Excellence. The Provincial Peace and Order Council was awarded Most Outstanding PPOC by the National Police Commission.

As Provincial Governor, he is now working for the civil works implementation of the aforecited JBIC mega projects. He is also directly supervising the implementation of the provincial flagship projects of agriculture, eco-tourism and livelihood. For the past 6 years, as Governor of the Province of Bohol, he has duplicated his title as Mr. Performance and Mr. Achiever during his 3 terms in Congress. The next 3 years the total development of Bohol is his priority and commitment.-- The Bohol Standard

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