Capitol’s oldest dept. head turns 74, remains in post

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CAPITOL’S oldest department head, Eduardo Habin, who served seven governors, celebrated his 74th birthday yesterday.

When asked if he is that good as he still remains in Capitol, he said, “You ask the appointing authority, I cannot answer that.”

“Career person siya. It does not matter kinsa ang naa sa iyang ibabaw (He is a career person and it does not matter whom he worked for),” said Guadalupe Cabahug-Latonio, daughter of Sotero Cabahug.


When asked who is the best of the seven governors that he served, he said, “Sila tanan, lain lain lang og style (All of them. They have styles).”

In April 2004, Habin, 65, was supposed to retire. But then Gov. Pablo Garcia gave him a six-month extension, or until Oct 2004. He was at that time the provincial administrator and budget officer.

Suspended Gov. Gwen Garcia gave Habin a six-month extension, or until April 2005.

Then on April 2005, Garcia appointed Emme Gingoyon as budget officer. Habin remained as provincial administrator, coterminous with the governor.

When Garcia was suspended on Dec. 19, 2012, Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale maintained Habin’s co-terminus status.

Gwen has the most number of projects, he said.

He said Lito Osmeña was the best administrator.

“Walay usik labi na sa oras (He didn’t want to waste time),” he said.

He described Magpale as a good person and easy to approach. Gov. Osmundo Rama was kind while Gov. Eduardo Gullas was very active, he said.

Budget officer

Habin was 41 years old when he joined the government service in 1980, as Capitol’s budget officer II under Gov. Gullas.

Then former President Corazon Aquino replaced Gullas and appointed Rama as Capitol officer-in-charge in 1986.

Gullas and then vice governor Beatriz Calderon voluntarily left their posts. But some legislators, Habin recalled, refused to vacate their posts. He remained as budget officer at that time.

Gov. Osmeña was elected, replacing Rama, and Gov. Vicente de la Serna came in 1992. Then Pablo Garcia was elected in 1995 and served three terms.

Habin was born in 1939 in Iloilo city. He was brought to Mandaue City by his aunt Dolores Cabahug who helped him in his studies.

He earned his license in accountancy, then became the assistant manager of Rural Bank of Mandaue, of which the Cabahugs owned majority of the stocks.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 24, 2013.

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