Thursday, May 1, 2008


Odiongan, Romblon, one of the most progressive towns and considered the business center in the province with the continuous pouring in of local and foreign investors, burgeoning population, sprawling tenement housing projects notwithstanding the thousands of land transportation facilities, motorcycles, tricycles, jeepneys and buses soliciting paying passengers coming from neighboring towns and barangays are clear indications that Odiongan can be a full pledge city in the immediate future.
With the annual revenue collection of Ph 50,270,555.77 as per records from the Municipal Treasurer, Siole F. Rinos and the tax collection is still improving and if the trend continues, the local government’s tax collection campaign under the leadership of the new local Chief Executive, the Hon. Mayor Baltazar (Boy) Llorca Firmalo, could easily attain its revenue collection goal. What is the legal basis for a progressive town or municipality crying for cityhood?
R.A 7160, popularly known as the Local Government Code of 1991, explicitly reflects the requisites as provided for under Article Eleven (11).
1. “ An Annual Revenue Collection or Income of not less than Twenty (P20,000,000.00) Million pesos for the preceding two consecutive years as certified by the Department of Finance.”
2. “Population or land area shall not be less than one hundred fifty (150,000) thousand inhabitants as certified by the National Census and Statistics Office and a land area of at least one hundred (100) square kilometers, as certified by the Land Management Bureau.”
“Petition will be filed by the interested town or municipality in the form of a Resolution of their respective Sangguniang Bayan requesting the creation of a new city to the Congress, and furnish copies thereof to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Local Government Units concerned.”
It would be recalled that the conversion of the two municipalities of Ferrol and Sta.Maria formerly barangay Concepcion. All in Tablas Island did not underwent these sophisticated processes but by virtue of the Presidential Decree which was then the most authoritative law under the dictates of the late President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos in his Martial Law Government and one of which was Christian- named Imelda town and later back to its original name “Ferrol” until today.
Records would show that the defunct Batac Agricultural School in Batac, Ilocos Norte was converted into Don Mariano Marcos State University were also the brainchild of the late President through a Presidential Decree in honor of his late father, Mariano Marcos, then Assemblyman during his era representing Ilocos Norte in the National Assembly.
What are the advantages or disadvantages if Odiongan is converted into a full-fledge city? Based from the concept of “Cost-Benefit Analysis” in as far a public management is concerned, it is more of an advantage. Odiongan and the original Odionganons are peace-loving people. According to history, the present Odionganons now were the grand, grand children of families who came from the “Maghali”Island Municipalities of Sibale, Corcuera or Simara and Banton. These industrious and knowledgeable families migrated to Odiongan and settled for good. Other Banto-anon families followed suite when they realized that Odiongan is an ideal place for them.
Years later, an influx of industrious and business-minded BatangueƱos, other migrants coming from other parts of the country as far as Ilocos Region and other Visayan Provinces settled in Odiongan to try their luck as well as their economic and political destiny which up to the present, the Odionganons of today were the result of intermarriages of these different families and this is what the Odionganons are as of today, aggressive, responsive, business-minded and with leadership potentials.
As a potential city, the administrative, managerial and operatives aspects will be effective and efficient. Business establishments will be more enduring, competitive especially with the buying capacity of daily shoppers the impact of which would partially address unemployment and the local government’s capability to improve its revenue collection scheme.

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