Tuesday , May 22, 2018

Cityhood dreams for La Trinidad

LA TRINIDAD Mayor Romeo Salda expressed optimism that Benguet’s capital town may soon became a city by 2020.

The improving economy of La Trinidad and its present 160,000 population, the municipality’s chief executive believes the bill which Benguet Congressman Ronald Cosalan will pass will have smooth sailing in Congress.

The Valley has a total land area of 80.795125 square kilometers representing 2.7 percent of the total province area. It has 16 barangays namely Alapang, Alno, Ambiong, Balili, Bahong, Beckel, Betag, Bineng, Cruz, Lubas, Pico, Poblacion, Puguis, Shilan, Tawang and Wangal.

Wangal is the largest barangay with an area of 11.159642 sq. km. constituting 13.81 percent of the municipality. Puguis is the second with 10.2182 sq. km. or 12.65 percent of the municipal land area.

Alno is the third largest barangay while the smallest is Cruz with an area of 0.5659 sq. km. constituting 0.70 percent of the municipality’s land area.

In 2002, a total of 6,675.45 hectares was recorded for real property assessment and taxation.

This increased to 8,176.83 hectares in 2012 but decreased to 8,071.21 hectares in 2013. Land use conversion continues as shown in the records of the Municipal Assessor’s Office in 2014.

In 2015, there were land revisions to agriculture and there were also land conversions. Based on the town’s record, 84 percent are classified as agricultural, nine percent as residential, 2.69 percent as commercial, 3.15 percent as industrial, 2.23 percent is government, and 5.67 percent for other uses.

Due to continuous development, land conversion likewise continues. Applications for conversions and revisions are made according to actual land use.

In 2016, at least 2 percent increase in agricultural land area was observed, one percent increase in residential area, and about two percent increase in industrial use area.

In 2017, La Trinidad's economic dynamism scored 6.8799 and ranked 20 in the nationwide ranking for first class municipalities.

Cosalan has given his willingness to push for the cityhood of the capital town once Valley officials submitted the documents to fortify the request for cityhood, then a bill in Congress will follow.

The Benguet lawmaker explained an income of P100 million for a period of two years must be achieved by the province capital as well as a population with a minimum of 150,000.

Cosalan said the land area requirements, which the Valley lacks, will be compensated by both income and population which will suffice for a conversion into a component city.

Congress dictates that cityhood requirements include a locally generated income of at least P100 million for the two consecutive years as certified by the Department of Finance and a population of 150,000 or more, as certified by the National Statistics Office or a contiguous territory of 100 square kilometers, as certified by the Land Management Bureau, with contiguity not being a requisite for areas that are on two or more islands.

Cosalan has asked Salda to prepare the required certifications from agencies to fortify the bid of the valley to become a city.