Senate honors Fernando Poe Jr. , okays bill renaming Roosevelt Avenue in QC to FPJ Ave.

THE LATE FERNANDO POE JR. honored by renaming Del Monte Ave. in Quezon City after him

PASAY CITY – The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to rename Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City after the late Filipino actor Fernando Poe Jr.

Voting 22-0-1, the chamber approved House Bill No. (HBN) 7499 which would rename Roosevelt Avenue located in the legislative district I of Quezon City to Fernando Poe Jr. Avenue.

Senator Grace Poe, daughter of the late actor who was hailed as the king of Philippine movies, abstained from voting on the measure.

Poe thanked her colleagues for supporting the passage of the measure, noting that although she abstained from voting, she is “so happy that this has passed.”

“I purposely abstained because of our rule that it might be a conflict of interest. But in my heart I am so happy that this has passed. So thank you very much,” Poe said after the chamber approved the measure.

HBN 7499 initially sought to rename Del Monte Avenue, which is also located in Quezon City’s first legislative district after the late actor, but Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III introduced an amendment to Section 1 of the proposed measure renaming Roosevelt Avenue instead. The amendment was accepted by Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, chairman of the Committee on Public Works and sponsor of the bill.

Under the measure, the Department of Public Works and Highways shall issue the necessary rules, orders, and circulars to implement the provisions within 60 days from its effectivity.

The Quezon City government’s plan to redevelop the San Francisco del Monte District into a place of interest will get going once the renaming of its major thoroughfare, Roosevelt Avenue, into Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) Avenue, is enacted.

This was disclosed by Mayor Josefina Joy Belmonte after the Senate approved the bill that pays tribute to the late actor and one-time presidential aspirant with 22 “yes” votes.

Senator Grace Poe, the actor’s daughter, abstained during the voting to avoid conflict of interest.

“We also consider it a big honor to have one of our city’s main arteries named after FPJ. After all, Quezon City is the city of stars and it is but fitting to name one of our major thoroughfares after the biggest star of them all,” Mayor Belmonte said.

Belmonte said the redevelopment projects will support the 1 million jobs program of the National Employment Recovery Strategy, which is co-chaired by Labor, Trade and Industry, and Tourism departments.

The original House and Senate bills filed last year sought to rename Del Monte Avenue (traversing Barangays Nayong Kanluran, Paltok, Paraiso, Del Monte, Damayan, Masambong, Talayan, Manresa, Siena, St. Peter, San Jose, and Amoranto).

Residents and priests, however, opposed it because of the street’s historical and religious significance.

In a letter in October 2020 addressed to bill author Senator Manuel Lito Lapid, Fr. Cielo Almazan said Del Monte was added to its name because it sits on a hilly area and to distinguish it from San Francisco de Manila, then the Franciscan Church in Intramuros.

“Today, the Minor Basilica of San Pedro Bautista stands in this place founded and made holy by this patron saint who actually lived and served in this place popularly known as San Francisco Del Monte,” read the letter of Almazan, head of Filipino Franciscans.

An amendment was later introduced to instead rename Roosevelt Avenue as it is where Poe’s ancestral home is located.

The 2.9-kilometer road starts from Quezon Avenue in Barangay Santa Cruz and ends at the intersection of EDSA.

Poe passed away on Dec. 14, 2004 at 65 years old due to thrombosis with multiple organ failure after suffering from a stroke and slipping into coma.

In his 46-year-career as an actor, he starred in around 300 action films.

He was declared a National Artist two years after his death.

The Senate also approved on final reading four local bills seeking to create and reconstitute various engineering offices in Mindanao.

Approved were HBNs 6227, seeking to create a new district engineering office in the third legislative district of the province of Zamboanga del Norte; HBN 5891, reconstituting the Lanao del Norte district engineering office in the province into two separate district engineering offices; HBN 5890, creating the Iligan City district engineering office; and HBN 5855, establishing the

Meanwhile, Deputy House Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto disclosed she may run for the Senate or retire from politics in 2022.

“As of now, I’m still discerning on my plans for 2022. I may run for the Senate or retire from politics,” said the Santos-Recto, who is currently Batangas 6th District representative, in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

Sen. Grace Poe earlier hinted at Santos-Recto’s possible Senate bid in next year’s national elections.

Poe dropped the hint during the Senate session as she thanked her colleagues who voted in favor of a bill renaming Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City to Fernando Poe Jr. Avenue, an ode to her late father.

As Poe thanked Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto for his affirmative vote, she casually said: “Ang asawa ni Sen. Ralph Recto, na magiging senador natin, na si Vilma Santos.”

Sen. Recto, who has served two consecutive terms in the Senate, earlier said that his wife is considering a possible senatorial bid next year.

“That’s a possibility. We’ve been discussing that here in the house if she wants to run for the Senate. She might run for the Senate. I might take her place in the House as well,” he said in July.

Santos-Recto said she is still praying over her plans and is just on her 2nd term as congresswoman. She has principally authored 147 bills, co-authored 32 bills, and pushed for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.

Recto said that he and his wife would back the presidential candidacy of either Sen. Panfilo Lacson or Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Poe is rumored to be running as Domagoso’s vice president, but has yet to give a formal announcement about her political plans.

“We belong to a political party We will discuss that in the party and see where it leads us,” said Recto, who, along with his wife, are members of the Nacionalista Party led by the Villar family.

Mark Villar, son of Sen. Cynthia Villar, has been named as among the senatorial candidates of the ruling party PDP-Laban next year.