RIZAL DAY. Mayor Warren Pabillaran of Malaybalay City in Bukidnon province, delivers a speech in honor of the 126th martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal on Friday (Dec. 30, 2022). Pabillaran says Rizal's patriotic actions are reminders for public servants to do better at serving the government. (Photo courtesy of Malaybalay City LGU)

OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental - Government officials in the Northern Mindanao Region joined Friday the 126th commemoration of Dr. Jose P. Rizal's martyrdom, saying his patriotic sacrifice remains an inspiration for public servants.

In Bukidnon province, Malaybalay City Mayor Jay Warren Pabillaran said local government units (LGUs) should institutionalize the Rizal Day commemoration as Rizal's good deeds is still relevant today.

"Before, our enemies were the Spanish (colonizers), but now it is among us Filipinos. We are free, but what we usually lack is to be rightful in our service to the government," he said.

Pabillaran is also requesting the City Council to allot funds for the development of the centennial marker in Barangay Dalwangan as this will serve as a landmark for honoring Rizal and other Philippine heroes.

In Cagayan de Oro City, Roy Hilario Raagas, the city administrator, delivered the message of Mayor Rolando Uy during the wreath-laying ceremony Friday.

Uy, who visited affected families brought by the recent flooding, urged the public to emulate what Rizal did for the country when he was still alive.

He said Rizal’s works must serve as a guide in public service and patriotism.

"Only then the country can become a better nation when we come together," Uy said. (PNA)