Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos Padilla died on Friday morning. He was 78.
Padilla succumbed to a heart attack at the age of 78, leaving behind his wife Ruth and children Carlos “Jojo” II, Ruthie Maye and Carlo Paolo.
“Today, we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual who leaves behind a legacy of dedication, selflessness, and service. Let us remember Governor Padilla for his remarkable contributions and the positive change he brought to our province,” local folk leader John David said.
Padilla spent 29 years as representative of the Lone District of Nueva Vizcaya including six years as assemblyman in the Batasang Pambansa. He once served as deputy speaker and also as a minority leader.
In the 1970s, he served as mayor of the then-undivided Dupax and later as mayor of Dupax Del Norte when the municipality was divided into three, with Dupax Del Sur and Alfonso Castañeda as the two other towns.
As a congressman, he was among the principal authors of Republic Act 6655 which established and provided for Free Public Secondary Education in the Philippines and RA 6728 establishing the Private Education Student Financial Assistance Scholarship, the Educational Service Contracting Program for private schools and other programs.
Padilla also took credit for the creation of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Commission on Filipino Languages and the establishment of about 45 high schools in the province of Nueva Vizcaya including the Philippine Science High School, Cagayan Valley Campus in Bayombong. He was also responsible for the conversion of the then Nueva Vizcaya State Institute of Technology and Nueva Vizcaya State Polytechnic College into a university now known as the Nueva Vizcaya State University.
Padilla was first elected as governor in 2016 and was reelected in 2019 and 2022.
He was a recipient of an outstanding alumnus award at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, where he served as president of the Supreme Student Council and also received his doctorate degree in Public Administration, honoris causa.
He received the same honorary degree in Education and in Humanities from the Philippine Normal University and Nueva Vizcaya State Institute of Technology and the Nueva Vizcaya State Polytechnic College.