1st-Apluma!: Good, bad news of HB 5429 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 January 2012 14:16

BY Ismael Amigo, Sr.

There is good news and bad news of a bill filed by a lawmaker exempting provinces from paying the annual income requirements of P100 million if it has no existing city.

The good news is no other than the exemption, which if translated into public services could go up well into new infra, new buildings, roads and other services aside from an increased IRA.

The bad news is that if and when the said bill becomes law it would enable provinces autonomy on taxation powers that could very well be translated into higher fees on this and that like real estate taxes.

The author of the bill in Rep. Cesar Sarmiento of the Lone District of Catanduanes avers a municipality or a cluster of barangays may be converted into a component city if it has an average annual income of at least P100 million for the last two consecutive years.

Cong. Sarmiento explained under HB 5429, the capital town of provinces will also be exempted from paying the annual income requirement of P100 million if it has no existing city even as it also seeks to amend Section 450 of the Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government code of 1991, as amended by Republic Act 9009.

Given the role as the commercial, political and socio-cultural centers in their respective provinces, Sarmiento said it becomes necessary to further capacitate these municipalities by elevating their status to component cities.

“The change of status will give them more autonomy and taxation powers and an increased share in the internal revenue allotment,” Sarmiento said, adding that cityhood will boost investor confidence and invigorate the business and even tourism climate.

Furthermore, a contiguous territory shall be at least 100 square kilometers, as certified by the Land Management Bureau (LMB) or have a population of not less than 150,000 inhabitants, as certified by the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The bill provides that the Commission on Election (Comelec) shall conduct and supervise plebiscites in qualified towns within 120 days from receipt of the list from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The capital town concerned shall shoulder the expenses of the plebiscite.

Moreover, the DILG shall issue the necessary rules and regulations within 45 days after the effectivity of this Act. — Email esns03@yahoo.com Mobile 0915-5517486