History of Arteche, Eastern Samar
The town originated from a small yet progressive barrio of Oras E. Samar. The barrio, named after its Patron Saint – San Ramon, located in the Northernmost part of Eastern Samar, was consistently the source of the bigger portion of its taxes and other revenues.
Inspired by the successful agitation for township by the barrio folks of San Policarpo, a nearby town of San Ramon, a civic spirited leader by the name of Pedro Mejica, went to the city of Manila and began postering politicians to represent their cause in congress.
The governor of Samar, then Gov. Pedro Arteche, took up the lead and initiated the move for township of barrio San Ramon. Thus, began the arduous task of lobbying in congress for the creation of the now progressive town of Arteche. Unfortunately, Governor Arteche, did not see the realization of his dream and priceless efforts because he was executed by the Japanese Kempetai during the war.
On April 27, 1951, came the vigor, excitement and vision for converting the barrio into a town. A bill was passed and approved into law, the Republic Act 607: “Creating the Municipality of Arteche” -aptly called after Goveronor Arteche – deemed martyr of the cause.
Arteche is composed of 20 Barangays, most of which are situated in coastal areas facing the pacific ocean. With a total land area of 16,980 hectares and a projected population of 17,080 for 2019. Artechehanons rely mostly on fishing and farming as main sources of their livelihood. Diverse aquatic marine life inhabits the sea of Arteche. In fact, the town’s Taklaan Festival was named after a pistol shrimp or “tabakla”, that is endemic in the coastal towns of Eastern Samar. In addition, rice and coconut are the major crops from which most of the Artechehanons depend mostly on. The Artechehanon’s speak the Waray-waray language. Arteche celebrates its annual town fiesta every August 30-31 in honour of its Patron Saint, St. Raymund Nonnatus.
Consequently as provided for in the bill, the first Mayor will come from among the crop of active and civic-spirited leader in the locality. It was Hon. Jorge Pajaroja Pajanustan, Sr. who gloriously served for two (2) consecutive terms, a total of eight (8) years. Mayor Pajanustan initiated the construction of the Arteche port and basic offices like Revenue Office and the municipal Police Station made from light materials.
In 1956, after the term of Mayor Jorge Pajanustan expired, he was succeeded by Dr. Quirico Orcose Picardal, who served for two(2) consecutive terms, a total of eight years. It was Mayor Picardal who started the construction of the Municipal Hall.
In 1964, the Artechehanons elected a new leader in the person of Hon. Pio Pinangay Sr., who served for ten (10) years. On July 12, 1977, following the collapse of the stability of the local peace and order and an extended leave of absence of Mayor Pio Pinangay Sr. , then Secretary Jose A. Rono, installed then Vice Mayor Luis P Moscosa as Municipal Mayor. 1977 was a momentous year, it was when the Naval ships of the Philippine Navy landed our shores to start the construction of the Arteche District Hospital. It was also during the term of Mayor Moscosa, Feb. 12, 1985 when the Arteche Provincial High School was opened. He served until March 1986.
After the 1986 National elections, Mayor Moscosa was terminated from office and was replaced for a year by an Officer-in-Charge, in the person of Senior Sanguniang Bayan Member, Hon. Valentin Montances. Then after, he was succeeded with another officer -in-charge of the Municipal Government Operations Office, Mr. Carlo Gerena, due to an election protest pending with the Commission on Election.
On January 26, 1989 by virtue of a special elections, Mayor Basilio Borata Villota was elected Municipal Mayor. He was sworn into office on February 2, 1989 and served barely for three (3) years until February 10, 1990 as he was stricken with illness. Subsequently, on February 12, 1990, then Municipal Vice-Mayor Vicente S. Ocfemia assumed the office of the municipal Mayor. It was during this time that strong winds and unfavorable weather broughtTaiwanese fishermen to the shores of Arteche. The Taiwanese was grateful for the hospitality of the Artechehanons that they built the Taiwanese Memorial Arch as a symbol of thanks and friendship with the Artechehanons.The Taiwanese who survived from the shipwrecked went back home and brought their dead brothers with them.
On May 11, 1992, National and local elections, the first woman leader of this municipality was elected in the person of Mayor Nelia Z. Pinangay. She served for three (3) full terms, a total of nine (9) years. Mayor Nelia brought numerous developments to the municipality. She spearheaded the construction of the new Arteche Municipal Hall. It was in her time when Artechehanons from Poblacion barangays namely; Garden, Central, Balud and Rawis was able to have access to 24 hours electricity from ESAMELCO (Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative). Mayor Nelia also started and finished the construction of poblacion roads and the creation of the Arteche public Market. It was Aldo during her time that the town plaza was constructed made from concrete materials. Moreover, it was also during the term of Mayor Nelia when the first 2 storey buildings of ANHS were constructed.
By noontime of June 30, 2001. Mayor Pio Borata Pianangay Jr., husband of the former Mayor assumed into office as her successor. Mayor Pio Pinangay Jr. served for one term.Mayor Pio constructed the drainage system in the poblacion Barangays.
After May 10, 20014 National and local elections, Hon. Nelia Z. Pinangay was re-elected to serve for another term until noontime of June 30, 2007.
The May 14, 2007 National and local elections gave birth to a new administration. Dr. Rolando Baldelobar Evardone assumed the office of the Municipal Mayor as the eight (8th) elected Mayor of the municipality of Arteche. On the May 10, 2010 and May 13, 2013 succeeding National and local elections Mayor Evardone won another fresh mandate from his constituents. It was during the time of Mayor Rolando Evardone that all Barangays of Arteche were able to have access to electricity. In addition, then Mayor Rolando Evardone made sure far flung Barangays will have an easier access to secondary education, thus, he opened Carapdapan and Concepcion National High School. It was also during his time that the Rural Health Unit building was constructed and the health centers for Carapdapan, Central and Tangbo were constructed. In addition, farm to market roads from Tangbo-Bato, Carapdapan-Liliwitan, Campacion-Tebalawon. Barangay covered courts of Carapdapan, Central and Tangbo were also constructed.
What we have now manifests progress and sustained development of our municipality. The essential infrastructures, improved educational programs and social services, accessible health facilities, 100% energised Barangays, farm to market and access to market roads, stability of peace and order and the transportation and communication facilities would not be possible without the concerned efforts of Artechehanons, the competent leadership, the worthy and incomparable contributions and priceless efforts of our local leaders since 1951 to present.
Furthermore, the concreting of the national road to Arteche is one of the great things worthy of emphasis and due recognition from Artechehanons for that noble efforts and commitment of Congressman Ben P. Evardone. This realisation of our people’s aspirations for easy access and convenience in our land transportation system has significantly affect our local economy and in shaping the development history of this municipality. This facility gives us a new dawn for a great new day for it brings us closer to the achievement of our common vision for Arteche as the Commercial Center in the North-East part of Samar Island, under a systematic, relevant and concrete roadmap to development provided for under the Comprehensive Development Plan of the administration.
On June 30, 2016, the three consecutive terms of Mayor Rolando B. Evardone has ended but his legacy remained in the heart of his people.
On May 9, 2016, a competent, vibrant, millennial leader- Roland Boie Mejica Evardone on a popular call by his constituents became the 9th elected Mayor of the Municipality or Arteche. By his Arteche Loves You slogan, he aimed higher for Arteche and his people. With his enhanced Comprehensive Development Plan, Public Order and Safety Plan and the recent Local Climate Change Action Plan.
In 2018, In his first term as a Mayor, Mayor Bowad’s leadership earned Arteche the elusive Red Orchid award. Arteche became the first and only Smoke-Free municipality in the whole island of Samar to receive such recognition.Red Orchid Award is an award given to municipalities which successfully implemented the anti-smoking ordinance and met the standards on tobacco prevention and control set by the World Health Organization. A milestone that has changed the lives of the people of Arteche and its future generations. In the same year, one of the most significant part of Arteche’s history happened, the founding of Eastern Samar State University-Arteche Campus which have given hope to all High School graduates to study and finish college.
The following year, 2019, is one of the glorious years of Arteche. For the first time in the history of the municipality, Arteche earned the coveted Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), a national award, incentive, honor given to municipalities as a symbol of integrity and good governance and the LGU’s commitment to continually progress and improve its services to its people.
It significant to notice that Arteche also gained national recognition for its various flagship programs featured in national TV such as: The One Barangay, One Gulay program which supports the production of our local farmers; the Plastik Palit Lapis Program which significantly made a positive impact to our youth in combating climate change.
With the support from his constituents, undoubtedly, Arteche will remain as the rising and fast developing municipality in the Northen part of Samar.