Saturday, November 29, 2008

The cityhood bottomline

The bottomline in the bid for cityhood by many municipalities is money.
If a municipality succeeds in converting itself into a city, its share in the pie for Internal Revenue Allotment shots up to the sky.
It is a financial bonanza for the local government unit.
The Supreme Court Decision last November 18, 2008 that ushered a stinging debacle to Guihulngan, in its futile bid to become a city, is not yet final and executory.
I don't even know if the the Guihulngan local government has already received its own copy of the decison.
The fifteen-day period to appeal (reconsdieration) starts to count upon receipt of the decision by Guihulngan being one of the respondents.
So up to now, Guihulngan can still regard itself as a city, and it can continue to receive its share in Internal Revenue Allotments as a city.
What Guihulngan, and perhaps the rest of the defeated municipalities, properly need to do is to appeal through a motion for reconsideration with the high court.
It is not a unanimous decision, but a divided one, mind you.
I couldn't feel the passion in the hearts of these municipalities in seeking to be converted a city, until I was given a computation by our technical people on local governments from the office of Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr., like Director Eliuterio Domugho, and staff member Katrina Infante.
Let's take the example of Guihulngan.
This year alone (2008), if Guihulngan maintains itself as a city, its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) would shoot up to P287,133,055.45.
But if it reverted back to a municipality, Guihulngan's IRA for 2008 would be just P97,362,841.98.
In the year 2009 Guihulngan's IRA as a city would have amounted to P341,526,420.06
But if it is reverted to a municipality, Guihulngan's computed ITR for 2009 would only be P115,434,707.97.
If a town is converted into a city, its IRA share jumps to almost three times bigger in IRA share than when it was still a town.
This is the sole reason why there is that so-called "mad rush" to cityhood.
The existing cities, naturally won't like this as their share in the IRA woule be reduced to accomodate the new cities.
For the cities, they don't like more members bcause many will be sharing their pie.
The problem does not end with the Supreme Court decision.
What happens now to the city offices created by these "converted-reverted" LGUs?
Guihulngan, I suppose has created its city division schools with staff, even local court personnel.
What do we do with these newly created offices now with the reversion of Guihulngan into a municipality?
What happens to the newly hired employees? Terminate them?
Impliedly, the decision declared the cityhood void and unconstitutional.
So these newly created offices reserved only for cities should be obliterated?
What's your opinion?

No comments: