Businessman-philanthropist Simplicio Palanca, president of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation thanked the Bacolod City government for choosing him as one of the four Ang Banwahanon awardees this year.
The 94-year-old Palanca expressed his appreciation to the city government when the mayor congratulted him when he visited him at his residence June 28.
The businessman, displayed his Banwahanon medal and plaque for people to see during an intimate gathering of friends, Leonardia said.
Palanca was not able to come to the awarding rites last June 17 at the Bacolod City Government Center but he was represented by his brother, Dr. Ernesto Palanca.
The Ang Banwahanon is the highest award that the city bestows on its citizens, in recognition of their works and achievements which made a great impact to the community.
Palanca was recognized for his great contribution to Bacolod which is the “250-hectare port and reclamation project that he started in 1961, which not only altered the western skyline but also transformed the economic landscape of Bacolod by creating countless jobs and generated millions of pesos in tax revenues.”
Last year, BREDCO broke ground for a state-of-the art seaport terminal for fast crafts and roll-on/roll-off vessels at the Reclamation Area.
“Ever the philanthropist, ‘Sammy,’ as he is known to friends, associates and family, has been giving scholarship grants to poor but deserving students. Many of his scholars have graduated from premier schools in Bacolod and are now gainfully employed. Indirectly, Atty. Palanca has been instrumental in uplifting the lives and economic well-being of the scholars and their families,” the citation stated.
Palanca also built a 7-storey tower at the Reclamation Area to commemorate the visit of Pope John Paul ll to Bacolod City. The landmark stands at the location where the saint celebrated Mass in 1983.
Called the Pope John Paul II Tower, this pilgrimage site earned Palanca a Papal award and became a reminder for “every Bacoleño that once a saint had stepped on the soil of Bacolod,” the citation added./City PIO