New law makes it easier to convert towns to cities

MANILA – Local governments can now fully operationalize their functions by opening the city gates to qualified municipalities under Republic Act 11683, which amends Section 450 of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code 1991 and facilitates the candidacy of a municipality to become a city.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said Sunday the law will allow the government to address the inequality of national resources and deliver the effective impact of being a city to more people.

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

Article 450 of the Local Authorities Code stipulates that before a municipality or a group of barangays (villages) could be converted into a component city, it must have an annual income of at least PHP 100,000,000, a territory of at least 100 square kilometers and a population of at least 150,000.

Lacson Senate Bill 255, in consolidation with House Bill 8207, exempts municipalities, asking to be converted to cities, from land and population requirements if they generate at least $100 million. PHP for two consecutive years.

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

He said it would be unfair for residents of municipalities to be denied city status simply because their city is less than 100 square kilometers or has fewer than 150,000 people.

RA 11683 went into effect on the 30th day of its filing on April 10, but was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on April 11. (NAP)