Bayambang seeks cityhood status

PANGASINAN could have a third component city soon if nothing stands in the way of the efforts of the officials of Bayambang  to have their town converted into a city.

Mayor Cezar Quiambao approved Resolution Number 1 series of 2021 unanimously passed by the members of the Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Board), requesting the office of 3rd District Representative and Deputy Speaker Rosemarie Arenas to file a bill in the Congress for the enactment of a Republic Act (RA) converting the municipality into a component city of the province, to be known as the City of Bayambang.

Resolution No. 01 series of 2021 cited Bayambang’s rapid progress economically with an annual income of P342, 902,938. 60 in the last two years, P100 million more in income requirement under RA 9009, amending section 450 of the Local Government Code or RA 7160.

The town’s 160 sq. km land exceeds the minimum 100 land requirement for a component city.

Presently, the town is classified as first class and considered one of the most urbanized and competitive local governments in the province and in Region 1.

It also said that under the same Code, a population of not less than 150,000 inhabitants, as certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority, is required for the conversion of a town to a city. Bayambang has 77 barangays.

“The conversion of our municipality into a component city will enable the LGU-Bayambang to build more infrastructure and facilities for education, health, disaster management, environmental protection and more efficient delivery of basic services to our ever-growing population, and at the same time to be more effective partner of the national government in promoting economic growth,” it said.

Section 449 of the Local Government Code of 1991 expressly provided that a city can be created, divided, merged or abolished or its boundaries by an Act of Congress, and subject to approval of a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Commission on Elections in the local government unit or units directly affected.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan already has also approved the municipal resolution.

Presently, Pangasinan has three component cities: San Carlos City, Urdaneta City and Alminos City.  The first city in the province, Dagupan City is the only independent city.

Meanwhile, Arenas said she and Mayor Cezar Quiambao had already talked about this and she will do the necessary actions regarding the request. (Eva Visperas /Jerick Pasiliao)

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