ITOGON, Benguet – Rep. Eric Yap assured the people and officialdom of La Trinidad and Itogon that the proposed cityhood of the two local governments will be pursued in the 18th Congress to contribute in speeding up the overall growth and development in the province.
Speaking during the opening of the Itogon dialysis center in sitio Malasin, barangay Ucab, here, Yap said that he was able to file the bill for Itogon’s cityhood despite some lacking requirements to help in convincing companies operating in the municipality to help in improving the local government’s income.
He claimed that the only requirement that Itogon does not have is on the annual income that must be over P100 million to be able to qualify for cityhood that is why it will be a consolidated effort among concerned stakeholders to contribute to meet this requirement.
Yap called on the management of power generation and mining companies operating in the municipality to start remitting their taxes due to the municipal government to help increase its income and achieve the targeted goal of Itogon becoming a city in the future.
Itogon has a total land area of more than 60,000 hectares and a rapidly increasing population because of the migration of people from different parts of the country to work in large-scale mining and power generation companies.
He claimed that there is a need to convince the management of the said companies to directly remit the share of the local government from the national wealth and other taxes being remitted to the national government so that the same could already contribute in increasing the income of the municipality in preparation for cityhood.
On the other hand, Congressman Yap explained that the cityhood of the capital town of La Trinidad is still pending with the committee and that the issue being raised against it is the failure of the municipality to meet the criteria on land area.
However, he pointed out that in lieu of the inadequate land area of the municipality, the per capita of the locality and the province should be given weight to be able to meet the qualifications of becoming a city in the future.
The lawmaker assured concerned sectors in Itogon and La Trinidad that he is doing his best to lobby for the approval of the pending bills on their cityhood to help propel growth and development in the said towns.
At present, La Trinidad is not able to meet the minimum requirement of 10,000 hectares land area to be converted from a first-class town to a city although it is able to exceed the P100 million minimum income and the population requirements pegged by existing laws, rules and regulations.
Yap envisions Benguet to be one of the most developed provinces in the country in the next several years with the possible conversion of the two municipalities into component cities and the implementation of high impact development projects that will significantly improve inter-barangay, inter-municipality- inter-provincial and inter-regional connectivity translating to rural development leading towards the upliftment of the quality of life in the countryside.