Monday, February 26, 2024
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House amends law on urbanized cities, provinces

The House of Representatives this week unanimously approved on third and final reading House Bill 6177 which seeks to rationalize the creation of municipalities, highly-urbanized cities, and provinces.

The bill is titled “An Act Rationalizing the Income Requirements for the Creation of a Municipality, the Declaration of Highly Urbanized Status in the Case of a Component Cities and the Creation of a Province, Amending for the Purpose Sections 442(a), 452(a), and 461(a), (b) and (c) of Republic Act No. 7160, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the ‘Local Government Code of 1991.”

On the creation of a municipality, the bill sets the following requirements: (1) average annual income of at least P12.5 million for the last two consecutive years; (2) population of at least 25,000 inhabitants; and (3) adjoining territory of at least 50 kilometers.

Section 442 of the bill titled Requisites for Creation provides that (a) A municipality may be created if it has an average annual income, as certified by the provincial treasurer, of at least P12.5 million for the last two consecutive years based on the 2016 constant prices; a population of at least 25,000 inhabitants as certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA); and a contiguous territory of at least 50 square kilometres as certified by the Lands Management Bureau: Provided, That the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population of income of the original municipality or municipalities at the time of said creation to less than the minimum requirements prescribed herein.”

On the establishment of a highly-urbanized city, the requisites are as follows: (1) cities with a minimum population of two hundred thousand 200,000 inhabitants; (2) average yearly income of at least P250 million for the last two consecutive years.

The bill grants Congress the power to declare a city a highly urbanized city within 30 days after it has met the prescribed requirements.

The bill further provides that the declaration be ratified in a plebiscite to be conducted in the province in which the city belongs.

Meanwhile, Section 452 of the bill titled Highly Urbanized Cities provides that (a) Cities with a minimum population of 200,000 inhabitants, as certified by the PSA, and with a locally-generated annual income for the last two consecutive years of at least P250 million based on the 2000 constant prices, as certified by the Department of Finance, shall be classified as highly urbanized cities. Provided, That the average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund, but excluding the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shares, special funds, trust funds and non-recurring income.”

Moreover, Section 453 of the bill titled Duty to Declare Highly Urbanized Status, provides that ‘it shall be the duty of Congress to pass a Joint Resolution to declare a city as highly urbanized within 30 days after it shall have met the minimum requirements prescribed in the immediately preceding section, upon proper determination therefor. Provided, That the declaration shall be ratified in a plebiscite by the qualified voters of the province in which the city geographically belongs.”

On the formation of a province, the bill provides the following requirements: An average annual income of not less than P200 million for the last two consecutive years; and either of the following: A population of not less than 250,000 inhabitants or a contiguous territory of at least two thousand square kilometres.

Section 461 titled Requisites for Creation provides that (a) A province may be created if it has an average locally-generated annual income for the last two consecutive years, as certified by the Department of Finance, of not less than P200 million based on the year 2000 constant prices and either of the following requisites:

“(i) A contiguous territory of at least 2,000 square kilometres, as certified by the Lands Management Bureau; or

“(ii) A population of not less than 250,000 inhabitants as certified by the PSA;

“Provided, That the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population, and income of the original unit or units at the time of said creation to less than the minimum requirements prescribed herein.

“(b) The territorial jurisdiction of a newly-created province shall be properly identified be metes and bounds. The requirement on land area shall not apply where the province proposed to be created is composed of one or more islands. The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two or more islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income of the province.

“(c) The average annual locally-generated income shall include the income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of the IRA shares, special funds, trust funds, transfers, and non-recurring income.” / ABR | hor-pr

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