Cityhood suffers low voters turn-out-A A +A
Saturday, July 21, 2012
MABALACAT --- Bad weather has affected the cityhood referendum in this town Saturday, with a low turn-out of voters.
Lawyer Emmanuel Ignacio, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Central Luzon officer in charge, projected that some 15 to 20 percent of the total registered voters of 85,000 are expected to participate in the exercise.
According to Ignacio, who is also a registered voter, a low turn-out is usually expected in a cityhood referendum or plebiscite, however, no untoward incidents were reported and that it was relatively peaceful.
Ignacio said Mabalacat, which is receiving P180 million from the internal revenue allotment (IRA) at present, will gain a lot once it is converted into a component city.
An additional of P300 to P400 million will add up to the IRA of town once it becomes Pampanga’s third city, Ignacio added.
Meanwhile, Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales, who also casted his vote at the Dau Elementary School thanked his constituents for participating and voting despite the inclement weather Saturday.
Morales said they are expecting about 30 percent voter turn-out in the referendum. He also stressed out that some of the priorities of his administration include education, health and livelihood.
Mabalacat College has 1900 students this school year and this figure will grow to more than 2000 next school year.
Anticipating the approval of the citizens to the cityhood, Morales said his first executive order on Monday will be the abolition of students’ tuition fee.
On health, Morales said that the Local Government will maintain at least five birthing stations and a hospital which will be built near the Mabalacat College.
According to him, this program is in line with United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDGs) to reduce maternal and child mortality rates.
Morales also cited infrastructure projects like the concreting of all roads and that more projects will be implemented once the town becomes a city.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 22, 2012.