By Cha Monforte

We’ve heard lately that several among the pro-bond flotation pushers in Nabunturan have already run out of reasons in justifying the exorbitant and extravagant P90-million public market building. Instead of rebutting squarely the project-bounded issues from the growing number of oppositors to the bond float that would only construct an excessively expensive market building, which would surely become a White Elephant, they have hoodwinked the people by the false reasoning that the Nabunturan cityhood could not push through if the SOB bond float could not be materialized. Santa banana!

We’ll pick this latest falsity on the discussion board. It’s clear as the sky that the Nabunturan would never be converted to a city now and in the near future. Reason: it fails on two of the three requirements of converting a town to a city. Nabunturan’s total income from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) and local sources runs over P80 million only versus the required minimum of P100 million. Failure one. Based on the latest official census in 2007, Nabunturan has only 67,365 versus the required minimum of 150,000. Failure two. Only in the land area requirement does Nabunturan meet. The town has 245.29 square kilometers versus the required 100 sq. kms.

Simple statistics just cast a pale of doom to the bloated claim of Nabunturan officials that it is leading to a path of cityhood. The biggest obstacle of Nabunturan cityhood lies in its lacking population. Even if we take a greater annual population growth rate of 2.5 percent instead of its 2.3 percent, and by a progressing cumulative projection, the town population can only hit the required 150,000 by 2040 or 32 years from now. But since there’s this geometric behavior of the population to increase, we take Malthus seriously and cut by half my projected 32 years for Nabunturan to hit 150,000 persons. But in this still Nabunturan needs 15 years of waiting to become a city, at the very least.

Another selfish reason that stymies the cityhood bid of my hometown Nabunturan is the resistance of the existing cities to the conversion of towns to become cities as they don’t like seeing newcomers competing to bite for the IRA pie allocated for the cities. The existing cities and even the newcomers like the fortunate Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte and Bayugan in Agusan del Sur which became cities just this year and Mati in Davao Oriental in last year fear that if there would be more cities to come, in the end they would be munching smaller slices of the IRA pie.

With this, it is understandable now that the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) has been fighting tooth-and-nail for the stoppage of city conversion in various fronts: lobbying the President to veto an approved cityhood bill, to Congress for a resolution declaring moratorium on cityhood bills and increasing conversion requirements, and going to the Supreme Court to ask for restraining orders to stop towns from holding cityhood plebiscites.

With this LCP selfish and strong resistance, it’s another waste of government resources and time for the Nabunturan officials to go into Lakbay Aral or study tours on cityhood or go into lobbying faraway national corridors of powers in Imperial Manila. And given the glaring population obstacle Nabunturan has or the lengthy years needed to hit the 150,000 population mark, it’s one great falsity to make the Nabunturan cityhood a crying reason of the bond flotation pushers. It seems they are now going bankrupt of their justifications and alibis for this all-too ambitious project that is doomed from the start.

For this cityhood false reasoning, we have this adage in vernacular: “Atika ang tatay mo, ayaw ko” (For online edition, visit my blog at:

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