NEWS: Mati City government still operating under a municipal budget

By Cha Monforte

jan 26

The Mati City government is still operating under a municipal budget since it is still waiting for the final say of the Supreme Court following motion for reconsideration of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) to the court’s reversal to declare the sixteen cities in the country back to city category.

“We are operating with more than P200 million under a municipal budget, and that is less of about P190 million when we operated as a city before,” said City Mayor Michelle Rabat in an interview.

She said that for this year the city government would all the more expect increased income as “there would be an increase of 18 percent” to be added to the annual budget per advice of the Department of Budget and Management.

“I don’t want to preempt the decision of the Supreme Court,” she said though the mayor expressed optimism that the court would hand down a decision favorable to her city constituents.

“When we operated as a city for one year, we were able to subsidize the miscellaneous fees for the education of our students, and that’s P350 per student,” the mayor cited an advantage on the cityhood of Mati, the capital town of Davao Oriental .

“When we have increased level of income as a city, we can plan our development, develop our infrastructure, provide many social services and promote the city well to the investors, “she added.

The High Court reversed itself last December after it denied the two motions for reconsideration filed by the 16 cities and issued an entry of judgment order making it final and executory to the continued protestation of the LCP.

The court issued its decision in a vote of 6-4 on Nov. 18, 2008 declaring the cityhood of 16 towns as unconstitutional and denied separate appeals of the group of sixteen cities on March 31 and in April last year.

The LCP has been protesting for the SC’s affirmation to the cityhood status of 16 local government units because it reduced the varying internal revenue allotment (IRA) shares of the cities in the country.
Before the Supreme Court’s decision, 120 cities and 81 provinces each had a 21-percent share of the IRA, while 1,494 towns shared 34 percent and 41,900 barangays, 20 percent, said LCP president and Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos in a report.
Also favored by the SC’s December 2009 ruling were Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur, Cabadbaran City in Agusan del Norte, Tandag City in Surigao del Sur, El Salvador City in Misamis Oriental, Baybay City in Leyte, Catbalogan City in Samar, Lamitan City in Basilan, Borongan City in Samar, Tayabas City in Quezon, Tabuk City in Kalinga, Batac City in Ilocos Norte, Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental, Carcar City, Naga City, and Bogo City in Cebu. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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