The town of Carmona in Cavite is now officially a city after a total of 30,363 residents voted “yes” during a cityhood plebiscite on Saturday.
According to the board of canvassers, the total of yes votes was at about 96 percent, as 4 percent or 1,016 voters voted “no.”
“Carmona’s road to cityhood was not easy, considering that our small town did not fit the original criteria for cities set forth in the Section 450 of the Local Government Code,” Carmona City Mayor Dahlia A. Loyola told the BusinessMirror.
Section 450, or Requisites for Creation, of the Local Government Code indicates that a municipality may be converted into cityhood should the average annual income be at least P20 million.
In addition, Section 450 also requires that a municipality should either have a contiguous territory of 100 square meters, or a population of “not less than 150,000 inhabitants.”
In an email interview, Mayor Loyola said they have the “financial capability” to be a city, but were “limited by the standard on population and land area.”
With the passage of Republic Act No. 11683, or an act amending the criteria set in Section 450, Mayor Loyola said they were “given a chance” for Carmona’s cityhood.
Republic Act No. 11683 was approved after it lapsed into a law on April 10, 2022.
Following this, Congressman and former Mayor of Carmona Roy M. Loyola authored House Bill 3968, an act converting the municipality of Carmona as a city.
The bill was eventually approved by the Senate committee on local government last September.
According to Mayor Loyola, their journey to cityhood “has been a long and substantial one,” as it took them 12 years to convert Carmona into a city.
“It feels surreal, and I only have nothing but heartfelt gratitude to everyone who dreamed and shared this journey with us,” she said.
What’s next for Carmona City?
Mayor Loyola said they are expecting an increase in their budget, as Carmona City will be entitled to a greater share from the National Tax Allotment (NTA).
She added that they would “no longer” have to remit any portion of their income to the provincial government.
“The local government is empowered to ensure provision of faster, better, and accelerated programs and services for all sectors of our community,” Mayor Loyola said.
In addition, Mayor Loyola said he is eyeing Carmona City to be a “competitive and business-friendly” city to match other progressive cities in the country.
“We are hoping that this will increase our marketability and allow us to attract major investments, which in turn will yield us more revenues and economic opportunities that will translate to improved and enhanced services for our people,” the Carmona City mayor said.
Image credits: Tupungato | Dreamstime.com