Act No. 137
Rizal Act 137 was initiated by Taft Commission, which organized the “politico-military district of Morong” into “Province of Rizal”.
William Howard Taft arrived in the Philippines in June 1900, thus he became the Chairman of the 2nd Philippine Commission. On 1st of September of that same year, the Commission began its first legislative functions. On June 11, an Act No. 137 was formulated which organized “politico-military district of Morong” into “Province of Rizal”, in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal, the great hero and martyr.
The idea of changing the name of Morong was originally suggested by Dr. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, a Filipino, and it was duly recognized in Taft’s address.
The Original Province of Rizal
The new province of Rizal was composed of 27 municipalities, 15 from the old province of Manila and 12 from the Politico-Militar District of Morong. Among municipalities from the province of Manila were Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Makati, Parañaque, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Pateros, Pasig, Marikina, San Mateo, and Montalban, and from the Polico-Millitary District of Morong were Angono, Baras, Binangonan, Cainta, Antipolo, Cardona, Jalajala, Morong, Pilillia, Tanay, Taytay and Teresa.
The Amended Province of Rizal
By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 824,on November 7, 1975, the 12 towns were incorporated into the newly formed Metro Manila Region these were Las Piñas, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Pateros, Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Malabon, Navotas, Pasig and Marikina and the 3 cities of Caloocan, Pasay and Quezon City, thus making the province of Rizal with 14 municipalities left.
“Dr, Taverna, of the federal Party, who accompanied the commission, asked that he might make a suggestion with the reference to the proposed union of Manila and Morong provinces. It was his opinion that in case of union neither the name of Morong nor Manila ought to be retained. He then stated the custom, which prevailed the US and other countries of naming important localities/districts in memory of some illustrious citizens of the country. In line with this, he suggested that the united province be named ‘Rizal’ in memory and honor of the most illustrious Tagalog the islands had ever known. The president (Taft-O.) stated that the commission, not less than the Filipinos, felt proud to do honor to the name of Rizal, and if, after consideration, it decided to unite the two provinces, it would have the pleasure, if such action met the desires of the people, in giving the new province the name of Rizal”
Since then, after the formulation of Act. No. 137, Rizal came to be acknowledge as the Philippine national Hero.
- National Center for Culture and the Arts website [www.ncca.gov.ph] (accessed July 27, 2011)
- National Historical Commission of the Philippines Official Website [www.nhi.gov.ph] (accessed July 27, 2011)
- Province of Rizal History  (accessed July 27, 2011)