House Bill 5620, a substitution of HB 4990 of Reps. George Arnaiz (Neg. Or., 2nd District), Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro, 2nd District), Roy Loyola (Cavite, 5th District), and Erineo Maliksi (Cavite, 3rd District), seeks to amend Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, providing a mechanism for high income towns.
Arnaiz, who chairs the House Committee on Local Government, said living in a city has its corresponding economic advantage so it would be unfair to the inhabitants of such towns to forever foreclose their right to the benefits of cityhood, simply because their towns’ land area or population is less than one hundred square kilometers or one hundred fifty thousand, respectively.
The primordial reason for converting a town or cluster of barangays into a city is to ensure its economic viability and primarily. The Code's objective is to ensure cities and towns are capable of providing social services to the inhabitants, Arnaiz said in a press statement from the House.
Under the bill, the rule that, for creation of or conversion into a city, a town must have an income of at least P100,000,000; and a land area of at least 100 square kilometers and population of at least 150,000, remains.
The exception is, if the town generates a local annual income – that is P220 million for the last two consecutive years based on 2010 constant prices, then it is qualified to be converted into a city, without regard to the size of its land area or population, the bill added. (The Visayan Daily Star)