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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

roosterpict for San Pedro, Laguna, Business Directory San Pedro became a town on January 18, 1725 when the Spanish King Charles II decreed that the town, formerly known as Tabuko, be a separate town from Kabullaw now known as Cabuyao. By virtue of the last will of King Philip Rodriguez de Figueroa or "Don Esteban", a group of Agustinian Fathers gained the ownership of the Tunasan Estate. Later on, San Pedro became an hacienda of Colegio de San Jose, a group of Jesuit friars who took over the property which this time is known as "San Pedro Tunasan".

"Tunasan" came from "Tunas", a medicinal plant abundant inits shoreline areas. During this period, agriculture, fishing, duck rasing, fruit trees, and sampaguita were the main sources of income of its residents.

This period was highlighted by the growing tenant/landlord dispute. The tenants of Hacienda San Pedro Tunasan fought for their birthrights over their ancestral lands. This struggle took almost 423 years of unsuccessful resistance to Colegio de San Jose, and on 1938, the Government bought the homesites of the San Pedro Tunasan Hacienda from the Colegio for re-sale to its tenants. This event laid to rest the tenant/landlord problem in the town but created another similar tenancy disputes. It divided the residents on the issue of repaying the government for the lands. Those who believed and were in favor of repaying the government were called the "No Parking" and the other group composed of vast majority called the "Yapak" provided the opposition for the reasons of inheritance and occupancy for more than five generations.

The town's divisiveness constrained the government to award the Yapak's lands to others who applied for the property. It resulted to numerous court cases which stalled the release of its land titles. As the town reaches its political maturity, political contest held from then on, were affected by this divisiveness. Yapak favored politicians and were assured of victory. The conflict remained unresolved until the time of the first term of office of the then and now the incumbent Mayor Fely A. Vierneza.

San Pedro's lands being untitled and its residents mostly farmers and fishermen made capital a scarce commodity. Except for some, those belonging to wealthy families were able to put up some businesses. Economically, San Pedro has fallen asleep while waiting for the release of their land titles.

From the Spanish time until and after the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the scenario changed a bit, when in August 30, 1954, President Ramon Magsaysay signed at the historic town plaza the Land Tenancy Act. By virtue of this law, farm lots of the hacienda was bought by the Philippine Government to be sold at cost to the tenants or occupants of the farm lots in Bayan-Bayanan under the Narra Settlement Project of the magsaysay Administration. But this project suffered the effects of the "Yapak" and "No Parking" dispute due to the cases still unresolved in court. The geographics of San Pedro were dramatically changed when in 1964 to 1967 and in 1968 to 1971 the town was selected as the site of San Pedro Resettlement Area Project, wherein resettled families from Metro Manila were relocated under the beautification project of the then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos and in line with holding of Miss Universe Contest for the year 1975. This was simultaneously done with the rise of several GSIS/SSS housing projects in town. This increased San Pedro's population from 50,000 in 1965 to 74,556 in 1985.

The abrupt increase in its population resulted to dislocation of the town's financial capabilities. The increasing number of residents likewise increased the demands for basic services. Aiming to increase the town's revenue and to provide job employment opportunities to his constituency, Mayor Vierneza launched the industrialization program, utilizing its abundant underground water resource, its potential labor as an attraction, and a five-year tax moratorium as an incentive. The campaign was proven to be effective when several industrial establishments and factories heeded the Mayor's call.

The country was under martial law when Mayor Vierneza, after his assumption to office, immediately worked out to settle the court cases knowing that this is the key that would trigger the town's transformation into a dynamic community. And finally in 1983, at the same historic town plaza, the then President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos awarded the first 50 land titles to its tenants/beneficiaries. The last court case Mayor Vierneza settled was between Mr. Guillermo A. Castasus and Gen. Flaviano Olivares. The release of land titles was followed by the awakening of the town's business community. Its Public Market was re-constructed in 1981, after being destroyed by fire in 1978. After this, business mushroomed in almost every strategic location of the municipality to meet the demands of its people for goods and services--proof of an economically active community.

From then on, the town's development and its transformation from a 5th class sleepy agricultural community went on high gear. Now, San Pedro is a fragrant as the sampaguita and is waiting to finally become a city.

SAN PEDRO TODAY

Once a sleepy fishing, duck raising and agricultural town of only 50,000 in the early '70s with an annual income of P60,000 or a little more, San Pedro today is a bustling town of more than 240,000 people with an annual income of over P250 million whose history and progress is as fragrant as its verdant and fragrant sampaguita fields which blooms all thoughout the year.

From a relatively unknown town whose unpaved walkways and narrow roads were dotted every now and then by "calesas" and foot pedalled tricycles, San pedro today boasts of wide and well paved streets and scores of subdivisions, including one of the biggest in the country.

Where before San Pedro was noted only for its vast rice farms producing the main staple, "pinipig" and "puto bumbong" during Christmas holidays and sugarcane plantations and a big but barren rolling hills which eventually became a resettlement area for Manila's squatters, the town today is host to many industries and manufacturing plants, modern public markets, a big golf course and other facilities and amenities befitting its status as a first class municipality.

Where before San Pedro can be reached several hours from Manila via the old national highway that cuts across Muntinlupa, it now takes a car owner 30 minutes or less depending on traffic along the South Luzon Expressway to reach San Pedro with the opening of exits in the expressway and maybe faster with the opening of another exit within the year.

Today, San Pedro is the home of more than 200 big corporations producing a wide array of products or services. All the biggest names in the fastfood chain industry are now also in San Pedro. There were also a handful of schools, subdivisions and hospitals when in '70s. Today, the town boasts of 20 public elementary and high schools, 11 colleges and technical schools.

Now known also as the residential town of Manila, San Pedro has more than 100 subdivisions and villages, big or small, boasting of homeowners who are top officials of government, the military, the Philippine National Police, schools and universities, businesses, professional organizations, sports and entertainment groups.

Where before there were only one or two hospitals in San Pedro, today it has eight hospitals and 70 medical and dental clinics with modern facilities to take care of the needs of the burgeoning population of the town. The town now also has three modern public markets serving all the food and goods needed by the thousands of residents.

Two major reasons for the quick transformation of San Pedro into a first class town are transportation and communication facilities in the town. Due to the good roads, public transportation to San Pedro from Manila or vice versa is available 24 hours a day. Airconditioned buses and Toyota Tamaraw FX vans ply from San Pedro to Manila, Makati and Quezon City starting at 4 a.m. up to about 12 midnight, specially during office and school days, and vice versa. Communications to and from San Pedro to any point of the Philippines and the world is available through three big telecommunications companies - the PLDT, Digitel and PT&T, one of the very few towns in the country three competing telecom firms. With excellent transportation and communication facilities, San Pedro, thus, has a big potential as a business and industrial park.

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