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Mayor Rosal: Legazpi City soon to become a highly-urbanized city

Jul 16, 2015 @ 9:06

Legazpi City, Albay will soon be reclassified as a highly-urbanized city (HUC), Mayor Noel Rosal said.

The city mayor said they are just waiting for the 2015 Population Census to be conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) from August 1-31.

Its results, Rosal said, will officially determine the latest population figure of the city which will be among the basis of the reclassification.

“Right now we are already prepared for the elevation of Legazpi from a component city of Albay to HUC, the first to be among Bicol’s seven cities,” he said.

The city needs a population of not less than 200,000 to qualify, based on the provision of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 involving the conversion of a component city into a HUC.

As of 2010, Legazpi’s population is 182,201, which the PSA has projected to reach more than 200,000 by this year based on an estimated average annual growth rate of 2.1 percent.

Rosal said another criterion needed to be satisfied is the local revenue which, according to RA 7160, states that “a component city shall not be converted into a HUC unless its latest annual income is not less than Php500 million “based on 1991 constant prices.

City Budget Officer Obelia Baldano said the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) has for its record as of end of 2014 a gross collection of over Php700 million already.

In fact, Baldano said, the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) recognizes the city government as number one among its counterparts in the Bicol Region in terms of local revenue collections.

In his Ulat sa Bayan (Report to the People) last week, Rosal revealed that the city’s total revenue for 2014 was listed at over P711 million, which showed significant increases from 2013’s P658.5 million and 2012’s P611 million.

The revenue figures show that since 2012, the city has already been qualified to the HUC classification, Rosal pointed out.

HUCs are considered elite cities in the Philippines and are above in classification over independent component cities and component cities.

At present, the country has only 33 HUCs, 16 of them are in Metro Manila.

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