Council open to public opinion on cityhood name-A A +A
Thursday, January 6, 2011
MABALACAT -- An official in this first-class municipality said Wednesday that the Municipal Council is open to comments and suggestions regarding the town's proposed cityhood name.
Councilor Oscar Aurelio, Municipal Council majority floor leader, issued the statement in reaction to reports regarding the proposed cityhood name that carries "Clark," making it Mabalacat-Clark City.
Mayor Marino Morales on Monday asked the council to withdraw Resolution Number 37, Series of 2010, which urges Congress to include the word "Clark" in the submitted cityhood name of Mabalacat City.
Morales made the move after the proposed cityhood name earned comments and criticisms from both the people and journalists, who raised the issue of the historical value of Mabalacat; the long, foreign, and double-word cityhood name; misrepresentation; and others.
Aurelio, who is one of the proponents of Resolution Number 37, said the municipal council is set to discuss on Thursday's session Morales's plan to withdraw the resolution.
He said they decided to incorporate "Clark" in the cityhood name because of the Freeport's good international image and reputation as an investment and tourist haven.
He, however, said that it is not final yet as the cityhood is still pending before the House of Representatives.
"We cannot blame them [the people and the critics]. We have our own ideas," Aurelio said.
The councilor clarified that the Council conducts prior public hearing in every measure or proposed resolutions and ordinance to get the pulse of the people.
The resolution has not been approved yet because it is not yet signed by the mayor, he added.
Councilor Froilan Galang, for his part, said the decision will be based on consultations with the populace.
"If our constituents prefer Mabalacat City, so be it," Galang said.
The collective wisdom of the council members in renaming it to Mabalacat-Clark City was because of the well-known status of Clark Freeport internationally, he added.
"We believe that Clark, historically, is within the territorial jurisdiction of Mabalacat," Galang said.
Morales earlier said that he values and respects public opinion, and that they will stick with Mabalacat City as the town's cityhood name.
He instructed on Monday municipal administrator Rosano Paquia to write the council a letter regarding the issue.
Paquia said that as representative of the people, the mayor will adhere to popular will.
"What we do is for the best interest of the people. There is always good faith attached to this initiative," Paquia said. "However, if the public opinion insists on the original name, it is paramount that we will have to submit to the sovereign desire."
The resolution, which was proposed by Morales early December, also stated that the municipality has met all basic requirements to become a component city in terms of population and income.
House Bill Number 1325 has already been filed before Congress in relation to the proposed conversion of the town into a component city.
The resolution, which is now due for signing by municipal councilors and the mayor himself, also cited that the geographical landscape of Mabalacat includes 27 barangays and a big portion of Clark Freeport.
Aside from this, survey plans and maps emanating from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources vividly show that Clark falls within the territorial jurisdiction of Mabalacat, the resolution added.
It also cited that the town's current leadership deemed it appropriate to stress the inclusion of the word Clark to foster familiarity and prominence to the town and emphasize that Clark indeed squarely falls within the town's territory. (Reynaldo G. Navales)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 06, 2011.