HomeGovernmentThe Chief ExecutiveFormer MayorsHon. Efren F. Arañez

Hon. Efren F. Arañez (1998)

Efren F. Arañez served as mayor of Zamboanga City for only three months after Mayor Vitaliano Agan announced his candidacy for congress.

A civil engineer-turned-politician, Arañez was born on September 21, 1938, in Zamboanga City to Rufino Arañez and Pura Ferrer.  Efren grew up with two brothers and six sisters in Sto.  Niño. Efren’s parents were so poor that they could barely afford to send their children to school.  Yet through sheer determination, proper motivation and right values, they managed to get all their children educated.  All their children were to become professionals.  Efren, who was the eldest in the family, became a civil engineer, Esmeralda a CPA, Floridel and Clarissa both became nurses, Thelma became a lawyer, Fatima a CPA, Rufina a professor and Danilo an engineer.

Efren finished his elementary education in 1952 at the Central School.  He graduated from high school in 1955 at the Zamboanga City High School.

The young Efren, pursued his college education at the Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila, where he took engineering.  In 1961, he took the board examination and passed it with flying colors.  Immediately after hurling the board exams, he got employed in the City Engineer’s Office on July 17, 1961, as Civil Engineer Aide II.  Arañez rose through the ranks to become assistant city engineer.

Efren’s career as a politician stated very much later when he was persuaded to run for the city council on February 2, 1988.  Despite of being a neophyte in politics, Efren handily won the lection.  One of his very first projects and perhaps his most memorable one was to provide shoeshine box to every shoeshine boy in the city.  Meldy’s, Efren’s sister, said that he had started out as a shoeshine boy, so he felt that perhaps he could also give the poor young boys the same chance he had to gain an education by earning their way through school.

He was re-elected on July 1, 1992 and served as councilor until March 20, 1995.  After these two terms as councilor, some of his party mates urged him to run for the position of Vice-Mayor, with Mayor Vitaliano Agan as his running mate.   Arañez accepted the challenge which turned out to be a major success, for he was elected to the position on July 1, 1995.  He would serve as the vice mayor of the city until 1998, when he succeeded Agan, who opted to run for congress.

Arañez would stay as mayor for only three months, after which he filed his candidacy for mayor.  He was to face an unbeatable political opponent in the person of Congresswoman Maria Clara L. Lobregat, the very person who had introduced him to politics.  Efren this time was affiliated with the Lakas-NUCD party headed by Agan.

Arañez had a major disadvantage during this election in that the party itself suffered from a credibility crisis with the people of Zamboanga because of the SPCPD issue, and because of the Quiniput-Licomo road scandal.  And as expected, Arañez lost to Lobregat.

Yet Efren Arañez’s contributions to the city should not go unheeded by history.  To his credit belongs the accomplishment of several of the city’s major infrastructure projects under the Agan administration, including the reconstruction of the Joaquin F. Enriquez Jr.  Memorial Sports Complex when he was designated infrastructure officer of Zamboanga by Mayor Vitaliano Agan.  It was also under this appointment that several Barangay high schools were constructed.

Arañez was in his own right an accomplished government official who had enough training and background in management.  He was also an active member and officer of several religious and civic organizations.  He was the president of the Foundation for the Development of Children, the United Way Zamboanga Chapter, the Zamboanga Jaycees, the Zamboanga City Employees Lawn Tennis Association, Zamboanga City Chapter, and the Los Caballeros de Zamboanga, a Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus, Claret Council.