Cebu City 78th Charter Day February 24, 2015 - Special Non-Working Holiday: History

Cebu City will celebrate its 78th Charter Day on February 24, 2015. It is a special non-working holiday in Cebu City. If employees will work on Feb 24, he/she will receive additional 30 percent of his/her daily salary.

It's the 78th year of Cebu City - the history will tell us. Let us all honor and celebrate this day. Cebu City has set different kinds of activities.


The idea of empowering leaders thru the local government to efficiently serve the people is not new. This was the driving force that fueled Vicente Rama, who was a member of the National Assembly, to propose legislation. He had a vision to provide the new City of Cebu under the law more powers including independent sourcing of revenues in order not to rely on the internal revenue allotment of the national government.

The law creating the City of Cebu was to provide it an efficient system of government, not just achieving fiscal autonomy and decentralization of power to the local government units.


On October 20, 1934, Commonwealth Act No. 58 creating the City of Cebu was approved.  Authored by the late Senator Vicente Rama (who also served as Cebu’s second City Mayor), Commonwealth Act No. 58 provided for the granting of the Charter of the City of Cebu.

On February 24, 1937, the City of Cebu was inaugurated in front of the pre-war City Hall. The then Secretary of the Interior, Hon. Elpidio Quirino, represented President Manuel L. Quezon in the inaugural ceremonies and administered the oath of office to the newly-appointed City Mayor and the newly-appointed Members of the Municipal Board. A former Provincial Treasurer of Cebu, Hon. Alfredo V. Jacinto was sworn into office as the first City Mayor of Cebu.  Along with him, City Councilors were also sworn into office by Secretary Quirino.

Republic Act No. 244, which was approved on June 12, 1948, provided for the position of Vice Mayor of the City of Cebu, the Vice Mayor to be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. First to be appointed Vice Mayor by virtue of the provisions of R.A. No. 244 was Hon. Arsenio Villanueva who took his oath of office on July 16, 1948.

One of the most significant amendments to the Charter of the City of Cebu (C.A. No. 58) came with the approval of Republic Act No. 1243 on June 7, 1955. This particular amendment provided for the election at large, by the qualified voters of the City in conformity with the provisions of the Revised Election Code, of the City Mayor and the Vice Mayor. The first election for City Mayor and Vice Mayor was held during the general election for provincial and municipal officials on November 8, 1955. Chosen as Cebu City’s first elected City Mayor was Hon. Sergio OsmeƱa, Jr. with Hon. Ramon Duterte as the first duly-elected Vice Mayor.

Another very significant amendment to the City Charter is the provided for in Republic Act No. 3857, otherwise known as the “Revised Charter of the City of Cebu.” R.A. No. 3857 was approved on June 10, 1964.


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