The 16 illegal cities are now known as municipalities.
Voting 7-5, Supreme Court en banc nullify 16 cityhood laws. The Supreme Court says, the laws converting 16 municipalities into cities are unconstitutional because Congress did not follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code.
The sixteen cities declared as illegal are:
- Baybay in Leyte;
- Bogo in Cebu;
- Catbalogan in Samar;
- Tandag in Surigao del Sur;
- Borongan in Eastern Samar;
- Tayabas in Quezon province;
- Lamitan in Basilan;
- Tabuk in Kalinga Apayao;
- Bayugan in Agusan del Sur;
- Batac in Ilocos Norte;
- Mati in Davao Oriental;
- Guihulngan in Negros Oriental;
- Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte;
- Carcar in Cebu;
- El Salvador in Misamis Oriental; and
- Naga in Cebu.
Why did these municipalities were converted into cities when these did not follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code? Did our lawmakers unaware of the criteria for cityhood? It’s impossible but with what happened, I feel that the congressmen who conpired with the illegal conversion had some business on it. Vested interest? Or just a desire of making people feel the “city life”?
Before the conversion, these municipalities got a small slice of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) but enjoyed fat IRA shares when converted into cities.
For example, Bogo town, got only about 60 million Internal Revenue Allotment but when converted into city, it ballooned onto 180 million. Naga (Cebu) as city got 186 million from 66 million IRA before conversion. Carcar’s 75 million, rose to over P200 million when it became a city.
A friend, reacting to the news, emailed me, from rags to riches; from riches to rags. I beg to disagree because those towns that once became cities are financially well-off too.
There is politics in conversion of towns into cities, group of towns into province. That politics put the town folks not only to shame but more on the hassles of changes that are not for good.
What will happen to 16 city mayors? How do city councilors feel now when they don’t have right anymore to call themselves city council?
On the lighter side, anther friend who come from one the 16 listed rants about the calendars he will distribute as token of his business. It bears the XXXXXX City as address of his business. How would he explain that his city is now a history?