Ne­gros Ori­en­tal re­mem­bers Um­bac’s ser­vice in gov’t


Both the ex­ec­u­tive and leg­isla­tive branches of gov­ern­ment in Ne­gros Ori­en­tal of­fi­cially con­firmed that the late Pro­vin­cial Board Mem­ber Ar­turo Um­bac was the emis­sary who united the two sides at the time these were locked in po­lit­i­cal bick­er­ings.

Dur­ing the neu­ro­log­i­cal ser­vice on Mon­day, act­ing Gov­er­nor Ed­ward Mark Ma­cias, said the late ‘Manong Art’ (as he fondly calls the PB mem­ber), was the voice of mod­er­a­tion that made it pos­si­ble for both par­ties to talk and re­solve the is­sue that split the two branches.

“With his (Um­bac) pass­ing away, maybe God has taken him be­cause he has done enough al­ready,” said Ma­cias in his el­egy.

Ma­cias how­ever said he felt guilty that Um­bac died ‘un­der his watch’ while hav­ing an of­fi­cial trip in Aklan prov­ince to learn about the ISO cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment there, and tour­ing the man­groves plan­ta­tion in the prov­ince.

Dur­ing the man­grove tour, the typ­i­cal Um­bac was ask­ing ques­tions and was walk­ing ahead of the oth­ers. Ma­cias said he caught up with Um­bac, who was sit­ting un­der a shade and they talked about the big “al­i­mango” and the fishes in the area. Um­bac how­ever did not tell any­thing if he was ex­hausted al­ready, and that there was no inkling or sign what­so­ever that the 83-year-old PB mem­ber was feel­ing ill, re­called Ma­cias.

The act­ing gov­er­nor told Um­bac to stay put, but the lat­ter fol­lowed the group un­til he col­lapsed be­fore reach the end of the onek­ilo­me­ter stretch man­grove area.

Ma­cias said his only con­so­la­tion was that, based on the physi­cian’s as­sess­ment, Um­bac did not suf­fer in pain as his death was sud­den, “like a brownout.”

Ma­cias said he also ob­served that Um­bac was so happy in the last days of his life. While in Aklan, while tak­ing meals, Um­bac stood up and grabbed the mi­cro­phone to ren­der two songs, which he sang five years ago.

Gov­er­nor Roel Deg­amo, for his part, vis­ited the wake of Um­bac at the Leg­isla­tive Build­ing to con­dole with the fam­ily and friends. He ad­mit­ted that it was Um­bac who the made pos­si­ble the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of the feud­ing ex­ec­u­tive and leg­isla­tive branches of the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

For Deg­amo, his un­cle Um­bac was one of the best ad­vis­ers of the prov­ince and was the cousin of his late fa­ther Ar­turo Va­len­cia Deg­amo.

Deg­amo said his first re­quest to Um­bac was to craft an or­di­nance in­sti­tu­tion­al­iz­ing the op­er­a­tion of the Com­mu­nity Pri­mary Hos­pi­tals in the prov­ince. This was ap­proved be­fore the lat­ter passed away. Um­bac had also pro­posed for gov­ern­ment’s sub­sidy on dial­y­sis ex­penses of in­di­gent pa­tients at the pro­vin­cial hos­pi­tal.

On who would re­place Um­bac at the PB, Deg­amo said he has al­ready of­fered the po­si­tion to any fam­ily mem­ber of Um­bac, be­ing the leader of the party.

Mean­while, the PB, dur­ing its Mon­day reg­u­lar ses­sion, ap­proved en masse a res­o­lu­tion of con­do­lence to the fam­ily of Um­bac, upon mo­tion of PB Mem­bers Jes­sica Vil­lanueva and Ma. Rosario Ocay.

The res­o­lu­tion con­tained the vi­tal leg­is­la­tions that Um­bac had con­trib­uted to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment: The walk­ing blood donor bank pro­gram; the Gu­layan at Palais­daan Alay sa Ka­bataan (GPAK) pro­gram that won a national “Gal­ing Pook” award; the Ne­gros Ori­en­tal Dis­as­ter Pre­pared­ness com­mu­ni­ty­based and man­age­ment pro­gram; back­yard medicine; and food se­cu­rity.

Act­ing Vice Gov­er­nor Ma. An­to­nia Vil­le­gas handed over the PB res­o­lu­tion to the Um­bac fam­ily, dur­ing the necro­log­i­cal ser­vice.

Um­bac earned sev­eral awards and recog­ni­tion such as the Out­stand­ing Du­magueteno for pub­lic ser­vice in 2012, Most Out­stand­ing Alum­nos in pub­lic ser­vice awards from Saint Paul Univer­sity of Dumaguete, Most Out­stand­ing Re­servist of the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines in Re­gion 7 and the national award from the Boy Scouts of the Philip­pines, among oth­ers.

His re­mains was moved yes­ter­day to his house at Barangay Ba­ga­cay, where he will lie in state un­til Fri­day, the date of the in­ter­ment at the Ev­er­last­ing Ceme­tery.

Ju­di­cial Vicar Mon­signor Ga­maliel Tu­la­bing, who started the necro­log­i­cal ser­vice, said the pass­ing of Um­bac was a loss to his fam­ily, the gov­ern­ment, the peo­ple, and the Church. “Um­bac was one of the most hon­est pub­lic of­fi­cial who showed ex­cel­lence in pub­lic ser­vice,” said Tu­la­bing.


Ne­gros Ori­en­tal act­ing Vice Gov­er­nor Mari­ant Es­caño Vil­le­gas hands over the res­o­lu­tion of con­do­lence, con­tain­ing also the achieve­ment of the late PB Mem­ber Ar­turo Um­bac, to the be­reaved fam­ily, af­ter the necro­log­i­cal ser­vice and Mass at the PB Ses­sion...

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