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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet Caretaker Congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap underscored the importance of converting the province’s capital town to a component city to allow the same to be at part with similarly situated cities in the different parts of the country, especially in terms of the achieved development in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
Speaking before municipal and barangay officials of this capital town headed by Mayor Romeo K. Salda, Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan and Liga ng mga Barangay president Charles Canuto during the turnover of cash assistance to the identified beneficiaries of the labor department’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program, Congressman Yap, who chairs the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, said that the proposed cityhood should not be misinterpreted and equated to increase in taxes but what should be viewed should be the enormous delivery of public services that will come with the upgrading of the capital town’s status from a first-class municipality to a component city.
For businessmen and real property owners, the lawmaker pointed out that what comes to their mind when the cityhood is being discussed is the projected increase in business and real property taxes but they should also consider that the prices of their properties will multiply several times that will be advantageous to them.
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He added that he will personally follow-up the status of his proposed bill converting La Trinidad into a component city of Benguet side by side with another bill that seeks to convert all the capital towns of provinces without component cities to such cities so that the required consultations will push through to solicit the suggestions and recommendations of the residents on how to improve the contents of the bill before being passed by both chambers of Congress.
According to him, it is high time that La Trinidad will be converted to a city so that investors will continue to be enticed to open their desired businesses in the locality.
He recognized the deficiency of La Trinidad in terms of land area but it was able to comply with the other remaining requirements of the Local government code for a first-class municipality to be converted to a city.
Former Benguet Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan filed a number of proposed bills during the previous Congresses for the conversion of La Trinidad to a component city following its compliance to the standards prescribed under existing laws and regulations but such bills were not passed by the concerned committee where the same were referred.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda stated that people of the municipality will be consulted by the local government and the concerned committees in both chambers of Congress for possible inputs that will further enhance the contents of the proposed cityhood measure to ensure that the same will be for the greater interest of the constituency.
La Trinidad is a first-class municipality that is adjacent to Baguio City and was able to sustain its tax collection of over P100 million annually exceeding the prescribed threshold for towns eyeing to be converted to cities.
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis
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