New law eases conversion of towns into cities

General

Local governments can now fully operationalize their functions by opening the doors to cityhood for qualified municipalities under Republic Act 11683, which amends Section 450 of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 and makes it easier for a municipality to apply to become a city.

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Sunday said the law will allow the government to address the inequity in national resources and provide the effectual impact of being a city to a greater number of people.

“We can now give our people better delivery of public services and a fair share of our progress,” Lacson said in a statement.

Section 450 of the Local Government Code states that before a municipality or cluster of barangays (villages) could be converted into a component city, it must have an annual income of at least PHP100,000,000, a territory of at least 100 square kilometers, and a population of not less than 150,000.

Lacson’s Senate Bill 255, in consolidation with House Bill 8207, exempts municipalities, applying to be converted into cities, from the land and population requirements if it generates at least PHP100 million for two consecutive years.

“Some municipalities, despite their small land area or population have shown they can provide essential government facilities and social services to their inhabitants that are comparable and even above par with existing cities,” Lacson explained.

He said it would be unfair to residents of municipalities to be denied cityhood just because their town is smaller than 100 square kilometers or has a population of less than 150,000.

RA 11683 lapsed into law on its 30th day of filing on April 10 but was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 11.

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