The province of Pangasinan and the city of Dagupan will observe a special public holiday on Monday, Nov. 13, to commemorate the birthday of one of its foremost sons, the late Speaker Eugenio Perez, erstwhile representative of the old second district of Pangasinan.
Republic Act No. 6721, signed into law by then president Corazon Aquino in 1989, set Nov. 13 every year as Pangasinan Day in honor of Perez, known in politics simply as “Manong Enyong”.
Born on Nov. 13, 1896 in Sitio Obong in the once barrio of Basista in the town of San Carlos, Perez first became a councilor of San Carlos before he ran for Congress and won.
Basista is now a town in Pangasinan, carved out from San Carlos, which then became a city.
Perez, who was House speaker from 1946 to 1953, is remembered in Dagupan as the author of the law that converted the former town of Dagupan into a city. This law was signed by then president Manuel Roxas on June 20, 1947.
Perez was also one of the co-founders of the Liberal Party.
As speaker, he supported all the economic programs of then president Elpidio Quirino, among them the legislation that gave birth to the National Power Corp. (NPC), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Married to Consuelo Salazar, a music soprano with whom he had three children, Perez died on Aug. 4,1957. (PNA)