a young boy, Governor Niel D. Tupas Sr. already understood
the value and importance of education. A son of poor parents
in Barangay Bay-ang, Ajuy, Iloilo, Niel saw that he could
not possibly escape the poverty that gripped their coastal
village if he grew up to become a fisherman like most people
in the community. He realized that education was the
only path he could take to succeed in life.
consuming ambition was to go to Manila to get his college
education, but it was beyond his parents reach. So the young
Niel Tupas gained admission in the University of the Philippines
of Iloilo where he obtained his pre-law documentations. He
finished his Bachelor of Laws in 1957 and passed the Bar in
the same year, where only 17% passed and was considered one
of the toughest examinations during that time.
His ways and popularity caught the eye of one of Iloilo’s
political and intellectual giant – the late Honorable
Juan “Juaning” Borra, who together with the young
Atty. Niel D. Tupas, reorganized, rehabilitated and gave new
and vigorous life the Commission on Elections to first popularize
and use effectively the phrase “Comelec Control.”
This exposure to the political arena, not only encouraged
him to try his hand in seeking public office, but like a duck
attracted to the water, he was at home and happy in this environment.
unsuccessful attempts for Congress, Niel went down the political
ladder and triumphed as municipal mayor of Barotac Viejo,
Iloilo in 1972, where he served for seven years. In 1978,
he was elected as assemblyman in the Batasang Pambansa. In
1987, he was elected as congressman, serving a total of 11
years as legislator under the new democratic government.
2001, Niel Tupas was elected governor. He quickly showed that
political will is the single most important ingredient in
governance and led Iloilo Province to several national awards,
especially in the anti-illegal gambling against jueteng campaign,
stopping illegal fishing, and the clean and green program.
He was re-elected in 2004 and once more during the May
12, 2007 elections, where he is now on his third term.
Likewise, he sits as member of the Council of Advisers of
the League of Provinces of the Philippines.
Governor Tupas also anchored his governance upon the twin
pillar of honesty and integrity, opening his doors wide open
to his constituency and worked hard to improve the economy
Tupas and Mrs. Tupas have seven children, all whom have finished
college in excellent schools in Manila like the University
of the Philippines in Diliman, Ateneo de Manila and De La
Salle University. Mrs Tupas herself served three times
as municipal mayor of Municipality of Barotac Viejo.