Benguet eyes first class status

A RESOLUTION is now on the works to make Benguet a first class province.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan recently tackled on first reading for the reclassification of the province after an initial plan was shelved in 2013.

Co-authored by board members Juan Nazarro Jr., Robert Namoro, and Ruben Paoad, the measure is once again being reintroduced and hopes to get an endorsement from Representative Ronald Cosalan.

According to the resolution, the reclassification will help update and strengthen the competitive value in attracting more infrastructure projects as well as investors in the province.

Namoro added the re-classification will be one of the keys to fast tracking the developments of various projects in the province.

“It will give the province particularly the municipalities’ better chances of growth, not to mention Benguet has been long waiting to be reclassified for many years now,” Namoro said.

In April of 2015, DOF-Cordillera issued Memorandum No.07-2015 stating LGUs are advised the reclassification in 2008 will continue until the Income Classification Bill filed in the senate has been approved.

Based on the existing income brackets issued in 2008, a first class province should have P450 million and above of annual income, P360 million but not more than P450 million for second class province, and P270 million but not more than P360 million for a third class province.

Benguet remained as a second class province for the past 19 years in spite of the significant increase in its general annual income which is qualified for reclassification.

The province has been generating P700 million annual income since 2010 with P710,871,649.23; P687,181,682.34 for 2011; P747,770,039.00 in 2012; P736,912,829.50 in 2013; and P754,553,141.15 in 2014.

Its highest was in 2015 where it reached the ceiling of P852,687,589.66.


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