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Atty. Ramon P. Binamira, Cebuano cabinet member

Ramon P. Binamira (was admitted to the Bar on January 18, 1954) at the young age of 27 was appointed by President Ramon Magsaysay as the First Head of the Presidential Assistant on Community Development. The PACD was organized by virtue of Executive Order No. 154 issued on January 6, 1956.

The young lawyer, a bar topnotch, before his appointment in the government worked as Cebu City Director of the National Movement for Free Elections or the NAMFREL. Another Binamira by the name of Juan of Tagbilaran, Bohol became a lawyer on April 11, 1953.

The PACD which used to be called as Community Development Planning Council was established in 1954, it was Atty. Binamira who also headed the council. Atty. Binamira had the title then as Project Director and Executive Secretary of the Council. The PACD is what today is known as the Department of Interior and Local Government. In 1966, PACD was renamed as the Presidential Arm on Community Development. On November 7, 1972 it was reorganized as the Department of Local Government and Community Development.

On June 1, 1955 during a cabinet meeting with President Magsaysay explained by means of illustrated charts a five-year national plan for community development in the Philippines.

Executive Director Binamira informed the members of the cabinet that the immediate targets of the plan shall be greater adequate community organization for increasingly effective utilization of government services, through the application of the principle of self help, for the execution of economic and social programs.

Among the programs envisioned are the construction of roads to connect all barrios with principal highways; increasing the productivity and income of the barrio population through development of agriculture and other industries. It was Atty. Binamira who conceptualized the improvement of facilities for health, water supply, sanitation, housing and recreation.

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In response to the presentation of Atty. Binamira, Social Welfare Administrator Pacita M. Warns recommended to the President to appoint a committee consisting of the secretaries of health, education, agriculture, public works, labor and social welfare administrator.

President Carlos P. Garcia who succeeded Magsaysay when the latter died on March 17, 1957 continued the programs of the PACD. On December 5, 1959, PACD Head, Ramon Binamira was summoned to the quarters of President Garcia at the Veterans Memorial Hospital (the President was confined at the hospital and wore braces on his back). The order of Garcia to Binamira was to insure an adequate supply of cheaper foodstuffs in the rural areas by organizing barrio stores to handle the distribution of NAMARCO goods and NARIC rice.

Ramon Binamira married Purificacion Veloso Abueva of Bohol. The parents of Purificacion were Teodoro L. Abueva Sr. and Purificacion Gonzales Veloso (who became President of the Women's Auxiliary Service). Teodoro Sr. served as board member, governor and congressman of the old 3rd congressional district in the Province of Bohol used to be composed of Anda, Candijay, Duero, Garcia-Hernandez, Guindulman, Jagna, Getaje, Mabini, Sierra Bullones, Talibon, Ubay, Valencia, Trinidad, Alicia, Dagohoy, Buenavista, Pilar, San Miguel, Danao and Pitogo.

Purificacion, nicknamed Neny (wife of Atty. Ramon) is the sister of National Artist, Napoleon Abueva, called as the "Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture." The other brother of Purificacion, Jose became the President of the University of the Philippines. Purificacion has a sister by the name of Ma. Teresita, a retired teacher and holders of a Master's Degree in Education and became Miss Bohol in 1951.

On April 7, 1986, Atty. Ramon P. Binamira was designated as acting general manager of Philippine Tourism Authority by Tourism Minister Jose Antonio U. Gonzalez.

Binamira was one of the few protégés of President Magsaysay, among them were: Emmanuel Pelaez, who later became senator and vice president and Raul Manglapus, who was an undersecretary of foreign affairs, then appointed as secretary of foreign affairs when Garcia succeeded Magsaysay and later elected as senator.

attypauloaminal@yahoo.com.

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