Mabalacat Cityhood Ratified
Well, it is clear as broad day light the conversion of Mabalacat into a city is now history. The people has spoken, in one voice, upheld its ratification. The proclamation made by the Election Officer Mr. Frank David before 12 o’clock mid-night on July 21, 2012 has made a significant change in the history of this brand new city, Mabalacat City. It coincide its tercentennial founding anniversary. Out of 19,542 votes cast, 14,078 votes were on the affirmative side equivalent to 72%, while the negative votes gathered 5,389 only, 28%. There was really no doubts in my mind of its conversion for no man in his right sense will oppose the move. Some say opposing its ratification may qualify in saying “I don’t want progress”.
If we can make reference of the unfortunate fate of 16 municipalities whose city status were recalled by the Supreme Court for not having complied with the income requirement set forth under R.A. 9009 to become component cities of their own provinces, yet they have gone to the highest court of the land to pursue their claims. On the contrary Mabalacat qualifies to its fullest the requirements set forth by the code and the people of this brand new city knew it before hand, so the rest is now history.
The conversion of Mabalacat into a city should have been an economic issue rather than political. But due to the fact that the proponent of this conversion is the mayor, a politician and taking the opposition side is the vice mayor, also a politician having an interest to run for mayorship, the issue came to be more on politics, hence, there was divisiveness among the voters.
Anyway, “that’s water under the bridge” as the good mayor has been saying, but it’s far from over yet, I mean drafting the new-borne city’s future. It needs to draw the lines, planning shall be the concerned of officials whether elective or appointive, they must reconcile their priorities, aspiration on the drawing board to draft the specific programs for the delivery of basic services in order to make the city enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy in attaining the fullest development as self-reliant community and make the local unit more effective partner in the attainment of national goals.
All that were said during the campaign period shall now be put to reality, words be translated to actions, otherwise, the electorates will now gauge how sincere we are in our promises. But of course, all these can’t be done over night, one at a time, step by step is the cue here. As mentioned in the Budget Operations Manual for LGUs, list down the priorities which are attainable that advocates the principle of participative governance. Apply the planning-budgeting linkage that shall promote continuity, transparency, and accountability in fiscal management.
To achieve this linkage, set the vision and goal, list down the objectives, policies, and strategies that will lead to the goal. Determine the specific programs, projects, and activities to be implemented, then, select the ones to be prioritized and determine the available resources to be used.
As envision by the honorable mayor once the town becomes a city, the local income will increase remarkably and strengthen the growth of economy due to development such as infrastructure projects, socio-economic progress, the influx of investors including the high rise building that are part of booming economy. The present dispensation is forward-looking on the list of priorities like expansion of the Mabalacat City College, the re-structuring and reconstruction of the central materials recovery facility (MRF), the establishment of a public memorial park, and the improvement of birthing stations. Next in line of priorities include the City Public Market, a triple “A” slaughterhouse, lighting of major roadways and a central business district.
However, onlookers have made some analysis of the concluded plebiscite saying the low turnouts of voters reflect the vulnerability of the once unmatched mayor in terms of politics. But I say otherwise because of many factors contributing the turnouts. It can’t be denied though the two contending parties are both politician and yet the issue here is economic in nature. The increment weather practically contributed to the low result. Another factor is the non-participation of the influential Iglesia ni Cristo in the plebiscite which has been the Church practice not to participate in the affairs of the government, whether national or local. Also, the plebiscite day was Saturday, a regular working day which affected employees and decided to work rather than to vote, and the kind of “I don’t care attitude” of many.
Now comes 2013 local election, relate the outcome of the plebiscite to the contenting parties, the incumbent honorable mayor who is eligible for another term and the vice mayor that openly opposed the cityhood. I supposed, what you think is same as what I have in mind.
Congratulations to all of us Mabalaqueños, Mabuhay, MABALACAT CITY!