Perspectives :The big deal why towns want to be cities

January 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm Leave a comment

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

I could not understand the fanfare around the globe on the outcome of the Japanese technology where a beating heart of a gold fish could be seen through its translucent scales and skin. The Japs had done this experiment to reduce the need for dissection which became an affront to some sectors who considered it as cruelty.

But this see-through brouhaha has been here for decades in my province.

Just enter some night clubs here and you’ll have a shock of your life with pretty young lasses gyrating by batches at the stage where jaw-dropping and saliva-secreting customers could see not only their hearts but their very souls also.

By George, what translucency these chink-eyed Japs are talking?


I couldn’t fathom the verbal and printed opinions that went public that the de Venecias (Congressman Joe and Manay Gina) through a quid pro quo abandoned gubernatorial candidate Victor Agbayani, a long time ally, for his rival Governor Amado T. Espino.

They said this happened so Espino could convince his PMA mistah LTO chief Art Lomibao to forego his congressional ambition in the 4th Congressional District where he would be pitted with Gina in the May 10, 2010 poll.

What I know was Lomibao did not file his candidacy after the survey he commissioned showed that he has no China man’s chance to beat the female de Venecia.

And what I know too that Joe would not do that since in the 4th District, national and provincial politicos need him rather than he needs them.

Why? He is the kingpin of the district! Have you read an article on this paper before that was headlined: “All the mayors in the 4th District are my men, says JDV” that was by lined-by yours truly. A member of his sanctum-sanctorum told me that not only all the mayors-of Dagupan City , Mangaldan, San Fabian, San Jacinto , and Manaoag – are Joe’s factotums, but all the 140 barangay captains are his subalterns.

“Have you seen all those kapitans and the vans given to them by JDV joined the convoy of Manay Gina when she filled her congressional candidacy?” the de Venecias’ handler posed to me.

That’s why when Joe left Lakas-CMD ( where he and Former President Fidel Ramos help founded) by joining NPC, all the mayors in the district bolted the new merged Lakas-Kampi CMD Party.

“No such thing as dumping Agbayani in favor of Espino!” somebody told me.

“But such thing as a free zone in the district exist — as what we saw with those presidential candidates who ingratiated with the de Venecias whenever they barnstorm the district,” another one butted-in.


If you run under a political party say Lakas-Kampi CMD, it means you’re going to support a candidate that runs for a higher position because he is part of the same party where you run.

But it seems not the case in the capital-town Lingayen. Until now her Las Vegas-liked crooning mayor Jonas Castaneda is non-committal if he would be supporting the congressional bid of former police three-star general Leopoldo Bataoil.

“I’m still studying that possibility. It is still too early to say whom I am going to support,” he told me.

But to those media men who covered the rough and tumble politics of Lingayen, they know why Jonas was ambivalent.

He had a bitter mind games in the past with Bataoil when the latter was the National Capital Region chief.

After Bataoil body languages – thru his countless medical missions and bicycle races sponsored contest in Lingayen, betrayed him that he has a moist eye on the number one post of the town, Jonas immediately unleashed the first strike with element of surprises against Pol.

The veteran politician brought a throng of national and local media men to expose the tens of thousands of square meters of beaches where, according to the mayor, Bataoil allegedly squatted. Exploiting the great interest of the mass media, Jonas threw all the legal books that put into bad light the general. As a result, Bataoil scurried by immediately dismantling the fences he built there. He also scurried by not insinuating anymore to those who dared to listen to him that he has a moist eyes on the mayor ship under the stewardship of a veteran politico.

But after that over-publicized squatting issue, Bataoil brother Mon, a municipal councilor, once in a while take pot shots at the Castaneda administration.

A source told me that Bataoil high school classmate and outgoing town councilor Joe Ferrer contests Jonas for the mayor ship. Mon runs under the ticket of Ferrer.

That‘s a ticklish issue to solve for these two favorite sons of Lingayen.


To the readers who still cared to read the last paragraphs of this column, would you care to close your eyes for a moment and think a quick answer after you read the question I pose hereunder:


The advantage is financial.

The town will be getting an average of seven folds of its shares from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) given by the national government. IRA is the 40 percent tax out of the 100 percent tax collected by the government through its Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Customs (BoC), and other governmental sources.

Take for example San Carlos City . Last year it collected P 55-60 million from its local revenue.

But why can Mayor Ayoy Resuello afford to give the 14th month pay of his more than 500 city employee’s last yuletide?

Because he got P323 million a year shares from the national government.

And this manna increases as long as government fights corruption and slippage worth P35 billion a year at the BIR and BoC particularly.

But why is Mayor Ayoy is angry nowadays?

Because the Supreme Court have resurrected the dead Motion of Reconsideration of the 16 towns who want to be a city despite some of them earning only less than P 20 million of local tax collection annually against the amended requirement of not less than P100 million a year local tax collection

With the inclusion of these new cities, each of the 120 members of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) would lose an average of P 4-5 million a month.

Ayoy said that last 2008 his city lost P22 million IRA in just six months after a division of the Supreme Court upheld the petition of the 16 towns. He added that for this year, his city would lose around P40 million.

“Paano naman ang mga existing na ciudad at mga projects na nakala-an sa aming mga barangays?” he angrily posed.

Dagupan City Mayor Al Fernandez said it was a big surprise for the high court to reverse its final decision of the 16 towns not to be a city.

He said the LCP, which he steered for three years, will file a Motion for Reconsideration for this decision.

He said Dagupan lost P17 million in 2008 after the division of the Supreme Court upheld the petition of the said towns.

Oh, by the way, without the 16 cities, each of the 120 members of the LCP would be receiving an average of P404 million a year. Lots of money, baby!

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Entry filed under: News.

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