Opinion: KABANKAL’AN’s Date with History (II)
Investments, Early Economic Activities
Second World War. Kabankalan was made a garrison by the Japanese ImperialForces. Sugar mills were destroyed, schools building were demolished and houses razed to the ground.
Post Liberation Era. Post war era concentrated on rehabilitation efforts that saw the establishment of the Sugar Mills - such as Dacongcogon and Sonedco - placing Kabankalan at the crossroad of agro-industrial development and setting the ground as hub of business and trade in Southern Negros. With the growth of the sugar industry, banks and other financial institutions and commercial establishments put up branches and offices in Kabankalan.
1988. February 11. Kabankalan was made the seat of the Diocese of Kabankalan with the canonical installation of the Most Reverend Vicente Navarra, its first bishop who is now bishop of Bacolod.
1997. August 2. Kabankalan was made the 8th City of Negros Occidental and 69th in the Philippines by virtue of Republic Act 8297. Isidro P Zayco was the first elected City Mayor, and now the incumbent mayor, after serving as vice governor and later governor of Negros Occidental.
TRADE CENTER FOR SOUTHERN NEGROS
The city is strategically located on the only route from Bacolod City on the north, to Dumaguete City on the southeastern side and to the Municipality of Hinoba-an and City of Sipalay on the southwestern side. Banking and Lending Institutions like BDO, (Equitable PCI13), P1\16, Bank of Commerce, DBP, LBP, RCBC, Allied Banking Corp., Bangko sang Kabankalan, and Bank Victorias.
Commerce and Industry
Kabankalan has two (2) sugar mills - SONEDCO and DACONGCOGON.
To date, the City Planning and Development Office registered 2,497 business establishments, in large, medium and small scales. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) had identified KABANKALAN as the growth center and the site of People’s Industrial Estate (PIE).
AREAS FOR INVESTMENT
Identified as the growth center outside of Bacolod City, Kabankalan braces itself to meet the demands for investment in the areas of Real Estate Development; Food Processing; Post harvest/Grains Trading; Feed Mill Business; ICT Facilities; Tourism Development; Water Supply Development.
The World Bank-assisted new city public market now stands on the two-hectare lot bought by the city government. The market is now occupied by vendors. Beside it is the integrated bus terminal to provide convenience to the commuting public.
The multi-million peso new city hall now rises on a three-hectare lot donated by the family of Don Juan Jalandoni at Brgy. Talubangi. On this site also sits the Hall of Justice through the efforts of Senator Franklin Drilon.
The Sagumayon Bridge at Barangay Bantayan linking the Kabankalan-Bayawan friendship highway and the Kabankalan - Ayungon overflow bridge at Brgy. Carol-an have opened more access roads for travel and leisure between the two provinces. Also, the Modu-lar Steel Bridge linking Brgy. Camugao to the Poblacion is now nearing completion.
The Kabankalan City domestic airport at Brgy. Hilamonan is now at its various stages of develop-ment which has been scheduled for completion this year and aimed to promote robust growth in trade and tourism industries not only in Kabankalan but also in other neighboring local government units, including those in Oriental Negros.
CLEANEST AND GREENEST LGU
For four consecutive years (1994- 1997), Kabankalan had been adjudged the Cleanest and Greenest LGU (Category A) of Negros Occidental and a national finalist (being the regional winner in 1994) in the Search for the Cleanest and Greenest LGU in 1994. In 2006, Kabankalan was declared the Cleanest and Greenest City in Western Visayas.
2007 WV BEST TOURISM-ORIENTED LGU (COMPONENT CITY CATEGORY). The City’s promotional efforts paid off with the Western Visayas Best Tourism-Oriented LGU (component city category) award received by the city during the Regional Tourism Excellence Award presentation at the City of Talisay on November 14, 2007.*