Not yet time to qualify for cityhood

THE Municipality of Consolacion, Cebu has to wait until 2018 to be converted into a city after the League of Cities in the Philippines raised its requirements for cityhood.

Before, a town needed at least 50,000 inhabitants and a local annual income of P50 million to qualify for cityhood. But now, it needs to have a population of at least 150,000 and a minimum of P100 million local annual income for three successive years.

The league raised the requirements to prevent towns from becoming cities as this will reduce the share of the Internal Revenue Allotment.

During the town’s 96th founding anniversary last Sunday, Mayor Teresa Pepito Alegado said that in the 2010 official government population census, Consolacion had a population of 106,000.

In 2013, when the Department of Health conducted the national household domestic survey, the town’s population rose to 138,000.

Increasing income

“The last census was conducted last year and we are waiting for the National Statistics Authority (NSA) to announce the result and we are hoping that Consolacion now has 150,000 population,” Alegado said.

However, granting they can qualify for the population requirement, they are worried their income may not, she said.

Alegado said that while Consolacion’s local annual income is consistently increasing, they only earned P96 million in 2014 and P105 million last year.

“So, if we will be able to collect more than P100 million in 2016 and another more than P100 million in 2017, that will already be successive three years and we will qualify for cityhood by 2018,” she said.

Confident

The mayor said they are confident that Consolacion’s income will continue to surpass the P100-million mark because more industrial and commercial firms are settling in the northern town.

The town is home to SM City, City Mall, Foodarama, Sunpride meat processing plant, batching plants and shipyards, among others. The latest located is a Taiwan firm that produces electric poles.

Alegado said the Municipal Government is working to declare an economic zone that can attract multinational manufacturing firms.

“We have areas which are formerly timberland but are now converted into dryland suitable for economic zone development,” she said.

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