MABALACAT CITY -- Two weeks after his re-election, Mayor Crisostomo Garbo has ordered the reactivation of a proposal to construct a new city hall worth P1 billion in Barangay Mabiga here.
City Administrator Rosan Paquia, the concurrent City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) head of the city, said he was instructed by Garbo during Monday's flag ceremony to lead the process relative to the project.
Paquia said his office will renew its proposal to the incoming city council, headed by Vice Mayor-elect Gerald Aquino.
"I already have a marching order from the mayor, we will handle all the processes for our new city hall," Paquia said.
Paquia said Barangay Mabiga will be the city's next business district next to the Dau commercial center.
The village is accessible from all points in the region via the full road interchange of the North Luzon Expressway and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway, according to the city administrator.
Garbo earlier said they are planning to purchase a two-hectare, P400-million property in the village.
"Then, we will construct a city hall worth P600 million with complete facilities and equipment," he said.
Garbo said the fund will come from a P1-billion bank loan. The City Government has the capacity to enter into a loan agreement because its income increased to more than P700 million per year, excluding the P1.7 billion internal revenue allotment (IRA) from the national government.
Garbo said there will be a two-year grace period before the City Government will start paying the principal.
The loan will be paid for 12 years and the local government will only allot P8 million per month, said the mayor.
"That's around P100 million per year. This will be done without sacrificing the operations, programs, and services of the city government needed by the people," he said.
The price of lot in the area reached P40,000 t0 P50,000 per square meter but the owner of the two-hectare lot offered only P20,000 per square meter for the city, said Garbo. "So we grabbed the opportunity."
"We will get only two of the six hectares. At least that would help the owner about the property's development once the city hall is constructed," he said.
The P700-million local income of the city comes from Clark Freeport, bus terminals and from the business taxes.
Garbo said it is his vision to make Mabalacat City a model city not only in Central Luzon but in the whole Philippines.
"I want to see Mabalacat City free from informal settlers. I dream to convert it into a green city," he said.