Former Negros Occidental governor Marañon dies

Former Negros Occidental governor Alfredo Marañon Jr passed away at the Riverside Medical Center in this city on late Thursday evening, October 1.

In a statement, his daughter Anna Marie Marañon McConchie said, "It is with great sadness that the Marañon Family announces that our beloved Papa went home to our Lord at 11:38 pm, October 1, due to complications associated with his cardiac health."

He would have been 85 years old this December, she added.

McConchie said given restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the family will hold a virtual gathering instead of a public gathering to honor their father's life and achievements.

"We will appreciate respect for the privacy of the family during our moments of grief," she said.

She added, "In lieu of flowers, donations to the Carmelite Monastery will be appreciated."

She also thanked everyone for their prayers, love, and concern.

Marañon was elected governor of Negros Occidental in 2010. He served the province for 9 years.

In the 2013 elections, Marañon defeated then vice governor Genaro Alvarez Jr, who, at the time, had the strong backing of the late business tycoon and sugar baron Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco.

On his third and last term, Marañon ran unopposed in the 2016 polls.

In 2019, he was succeeded by then vice governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

Marañon, in a 2019 interview with The Visayan Daily Star just a few days before he stepped down from office, said he was inspired to enter public service after he went home to Sagay City following his college graduation in Manila. He said that at the time, his hometown was far behind, which compelled them, the young Sagaynons then, to put a full slate in the following election.

He won as the number one councilor in his first run. He then later became vice mayor by succession.

He was elected as mayor of Sagay City in 1972, then a member of Batasang Pambansa. He was also the assemblyman during the EDSA Revolution.

He again won as mayor in 1988, and ran as vice governor in 1992. Then he ran for congressman, a position he held for 3 terms, in 1995.

In 2007, he was again elected as mayor of Sagay.

After his brother, the late governor Joseph Marañon, died, he was chosen by his party to run for governor in 2010.

Among his notable accomplishments as a public servant was the establishment of the Sagay Marine Reserve, which covers 32,000 hectares of the Visayan Sea.

He also signed an executive order declaring Negros Occidental as "coal-free," and that only clean and renewable sources of energy will be allowed in the province following the youth-led protest against the proposed coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City.

He also lobbied for the creation of the Negros Island Region, which integrated the two Negros provinces into one region. Former president Benigno Aquino III ordered its creation in 2015, but it was dissolved by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.

He also considered the Negros First Comprehensive Health Insurance Program, which grants free outpatient care to registered families and individuals, as one of his successful initiatives. – Rappler.com