ITOGON, Benguet – Rep. Eric Yap is pushing for the cityhood of this mining town to establish the province’s first city and facilitate the further growth and development of the first-class municipality.
Yap, who recently visited the province to spearhead the distribution of financial aid to identified beneficiaries, claimed that aside from the capital town of La Trinidad, Itogon also has a good chance of being converted into a component city because of its huge land area, increasing income and population.
He admitted that one of the major obstacles hindering the cityhood of La Trinidad is its inadequate land area to meet the minimum requirement for a first class municipality to be converted into a component city.
Under the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, a first class municipality must meet the minimum requirements for a first class or urban town to be converted into a city include the land area of not less than 10,000 hectares, an annual income of at least P100 million and a population of at least 150,000 inhabitants.
In the case of La Trinidad, the local government is able to fulfill the 2 major qualifications but its land area is more or less 8,000 hectares which is below the minimum land area requirement although it is able to qualify in terms of the annual income and population.
On the other hand, Itogon has a land area of more or less 60,000 hectares, an annual income of more or less P100 million and a population of more or less 100,000 inhabitants.
Congressman Yap pointed out that Benguet should have a city aside from it being reclassified as a first-class province from its present second class status because it is actually operating like a first class local government.
According to him, once Itogon or La Trinidad will be converted into a city, investments will surely flourish in these jurisdictions that will contribute in generating more jobs for the people, increasing economic activities and sources of livelihood towards their growth and development.
He pointed out here should be development in the various municipalities of the province so that interested investors can be convinced to establish their respective businesses that will contribute in spurring the economic activities and sources of livelihood in the areas where they can operate.
Aside from vegetable production, the lawmaker stipulated people should be enticed to also establish their own businesses to be able to contribute in job generation and economic activities in their respective communities so that homegrown businesses can thrive in the said areas.
Yap expressed hope that with the expected development in terms of infrastructure that will be implemented in the province in the coming years, economic activities will surely thrive and become a major job generator for people.