Their wildest dream

sept. 9-15, 2010

COMMENTARY

There’s this report that Mati Mayor Michelle Rabat will be trying a new route of bidding to become a city via -again- the Congress, through a capital town bill. The Supreme Court has already ruled in finality after its second reversal stemming from the motion of reconsideration of the 16 cities that they could not do more except to comply with the criteria set forth by the amended local government code. The capital town bill dreamed of by Mayor Rabat is still via congressional fiat and for sure the league of cities would protest and lobby again for the bill to go to the wastebasket of Congress. When will they ever learn?

Although Mayor Rabat has already surrendered in her bid to insist that Mati is a city by virtue of a republic act because she does not expect anymore that the Highest Court of the land would again reverse for three times in a row. But she is still dreaming that somehow Mati would be exempted and find vindication since Davao Oriental has no city at all.

We know that at present there are still few provinces that have no city to speak of like Compostela Valley. But the capital town Nabunturan still, also, glaringly lacks the income and population requirements, and likewise, too for the other town city dreamer- Sto. Tomas of Davao del Norte- which is riding on the same boat with Nabunturan.

It’s time now really for the town city dreamers to just rest, relax and wait for their population to boom and breach the 150,000-people requirement. For both Nabunturan and Sto. Tomas, simple statistical computations on population would say they have to wait for at least 15 years more to become cities.

But why the excitement and thirst to become a city? Primarily, it is on the lust of sharing a bigger slice of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) being cornered by the league of cities, which want to retain their present number so that their respective IRA budget slices will not become smaller once a new city joins them.

But can the town city dreamers reinvent themselves and see what’s happening to the towns in Luzon provinces which remain towns but are experiencing rapid urbanization that they themselves host many trappings of modernization like having many banks, Jollibees, McDos etc. Those actually have them functioning already like cities even as they are in truth and in law just plain municipalities.

It seems that the psychic association of being called as cities has always ejaculated the colonial concept of the cities which might have deceived city-dreaming Filipino politicians. Now look at the many towns in China that modernized so much without becoming cities.  

With the Supreme Court ruling, it’s now time for the 16 ex-cities and other town city dreamers to wake up from their wildest dream.   – Cha Monforte

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