La Trinidad bats for cityhood

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Representative Ronald Cosalan said officials are planning to achieve the envisioned cityhood of the Valley.

Cosalan said moves in Congress are about to be made to establish the province capital as a full-fledged city considering it has all requirements except for one, which is land area.

Congress dictates cityhood requirements are first, a locally generated income of at least P100 million for the last two consecutive years, as certified by the Department of Finance; and second, 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 said there may be way to make an exception for the lack of land area, as the town serves as the capital of the province as well as the hub for the trading, education and institutional center for the province.

The Valley has a 5.5 percent growth rate of the municipality population will soon hit 150,000. Records show in 2007, there was a 97,000 population that swelled to 100,000 today.

Cosalan said a resolution from the local council must be made to request the town to be converted to a city.

"Dapat nga nauna pa tayo sa Tabuk," he said.

Tabuk earned it cityhood in 2009, amid protests from the 122-strong League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP).

Cosalan said after the local council has penned their resolution, he will then write the LCP regarding the conversion.

Cosalan said he is batting for capital towns to be converted and may include this in his plea to the LCP, admitting it may be met with a foreboding as existing cities will see a decrease in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

Mayor Edna Tabanda said the move is a welcome and will be backed by the town. “There is no harm in trying,” she said.

Tabanda said an alliance may be sought from capital towns to help lobby for the conversion, since it will benefit all who will work for the issue.

During the previous administration, a dialog was eyed with neighboring municipalities like Tublay, Sablan and Itogon to settle boundary disputes with the valley and possibly add to the needed area as required for cityhood.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 19, 2014.

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