Senate approved bill turning Mabalacat into city, Bacoor and Imus next


The Senate approved today on third and final reading a bill converting the municipality of Mabalacat in Pampanga into a component city.

"The municipality of Mabalacat is known as the industrial capital of Pampanga with the upsurge influx of different enterprises and services doing business in its locality," Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong " Marcos Jr., chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said.

Marcos sponsored House Bill No. 4736, otherwise known as the Act converting the municipality of Mabalacat in the province of Pampanga into a component city to be known as Mabalacat City. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile lauded the passage of the bill, saying the upgrading of the Mabalacat into a component city status should the welcome news to the entire province of Pampanga.

Gateway to Mabalacat when coming from Angeles ...Image via WikipediaEnrile congratulated the Senate local governments committee, chaired my Marcos, for its prompt action on legislative measures calling for conversions of qualified municipalities into cities. In his sponsorship speech, Marcos noted that Mabalacat has risen to become one of the most progressive municipalities in Pampanga.

He said Mabalacat major roads and bridges in Mabalacat have been upgraded to meet the needs of a city. Social infrastructures such as schools, hospitals and housing units were likewise built to accommodate a growing population.

"As certified and attested to by the Bureau of Local Government and Finance, the income of the Province of Pampanga for calendar years 2008 and 2009, based on 1991 constant prices, after deducting its share of income from Mabalacat was P340,424,886.78. The conversion of Mabalacat into a component city will not reduce the income of the Province of Pampanga to less than the minimum annual income requirement of P20 million under the Local Government Code," Marcos said. Marcos said a 2007 National Statistics Office survey showed that Mabalacat has a population of 203,307, way above the population requirement for a city under the Local Government Code, as amended by RA 9009.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. expressed elation over the approval of the cityhood of Imus and Bacoor in Cavite (House Bill Nos. 4722 and 4730 respectively) by the Bicameral Conference Committee last Feb. 1. The Senate had approved the final reading of the bills last month.

Revilla said both municipalities deserve their conversion into cityhoods because they had met the necessary requirements under the Local Government Code.

"Ang ganap na maipasa ang panukala na maging lungsod ang Bacoor ay isang karangalang para sa akin, hindi lang bilang Senador, kundi bilang isang mamamayan. Ganoon din sa pagiging lungsod ng Imus dahil ako ay tubong-Imus at lumaki naman sa Bacoor," Revilla said.

Marcos will present the Joint Explanation on the Bicameral Conference Committee report on House Bills 4729 and 4730 to the Plenary. Revilla said that after the bills will become laws, a plebiscite will be held in Bacoor and Imus upon ratification of its creation into component cities by a majority of votes.