On the 22nd day of November, 1900, Act No. 48 was issued providing for the establishment of local civil governments in the townships of the Province of Benguet. Such Act shall apply to all the townships of the province namely, Baguio, Trinidad, Galiano, Itogon, Tublay, Atok, Kapangan, Balakbak, Palina, Ampusongan, Loo, Buguias, Kabayan, Adaoay, Bokod, Daklan, Sablan, Kibungan, and Ambuklao.
On the next day, November 23, 1900, Act No. 49 was issued providing for the establishment of civil government for the Province of Benguet. This is being celebrated yearly in the province along with Adivay Festival through different activities.
The Province of Benguet was then organized under the provisions of Act. No. 1396 known as “The Special Provincial Government Act” dated September 14, 1905 repealing Act No. 49 dated November 23, 1900.On August 18, 1908, Act No. 1876 was issued in which Benguet Province became a sub-province of Mountain Province along with Amburayan, Apayao, Bontoc, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Lepanto.
A year after, in 1909, Baguio became a chartered city and the 19 towns of Benguet as embodied in Act No. 48 dated November 22, 1900 were reduced to 13. The town of Tuba was created while the towns of Ambuklao, Adaoay, Balakbak, Daklan, Galiano, Palina, and Loo were abolished under Executive Orders issued by the Governor General of the Philippines.
57 years later, on June 18, 1966, Republic Act No. 4695 was issued dividing Mt. Province into four provinces, namely Benguet, Mt. Province, Ifugao, and Kalinga-Apayao. Section 2 of the said RA states “The Province of Benguet shall comprise the Subprovince of Benguet and the municipalities of Tuba, Sablan, Itogon, La Trinidad, Tublay, Atok, Bokod, Kabayan, Kapangan, Bakun, Kibungan, Mankayan and Buguias.”
In 1994, Republic Act No. 7672 was issued “Declaring June Eighteen of Every Year as a Special Nonworking Public Holiday in the Province of Benguet” recognizing Republic Act No. 4695 which was enacted into law on June 18, 1966.
These two significant days, June 18 and November 23, are worth remembering as part of the rich history of the Province of Benguet.
On June 18, 2021, let us commemorate the 55th year from the separation of Benguet as sub-province of then Mountain Province, while we celebrate the 121st birthday of Benguet on November 23.