By Reynard Magtoto
LEGAZPI CITY, 13May2016 (BicolToday.com) – Governor Joey Sarte Salceda now a proclaimed Congressman of Albay 2nd District seeks to convert Municipality of Daraga into component City of the Province in his first House Bill.
“The first Bill I’ll file in office is the Cityhood of Daraga and the reason is the business dynamism of Daraga,” said Salceda, with 171, 339 total votes garnered, during the proclamation of local election winners in Albay.
According to Salceda, the biggest opportunity is in economics however its been nine years since no one speaks in the House of Representatives. “In other words , the economic policy making became exclusive to the executive because nobody speaks out on economic issues in our House of Representatives” he said.
“Daraga is advancing at a rapid pace thus resulting in an increase in the needs and demands of its inhabitants. Daraga has outgrown in status as a municipality and is now ready for cityhood.” Salceda explained. “The conversion of Daraga into a city will enable it to cope with growing burdens accompanying growth and development currently affecting citizens,” he said.
The first class municipality of Daraga has a total land area of 11, 860 hectares which is about 70% of the land area of Albay province and with a population of 115, 804 people according to 2010 census of population. This municipal land area is distributed among the present 16 urban barangays and 42 rural barangays. It is the melting pot of Albay District, Camalig and the Municipalities of Donsol, Pilar, and Castilla of the Province of Sorsogon.
Daraga is home to the Cagsawa Ruins which is tentatively listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site. It is also home to the Bicol University, the country’s premier university south of luzon, and the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital (BRTTH), the largest hospital in the region and a Gawad Kalasag 2015 awardee. Further, the Southern Luzon International Airport and Grand Terminal for Bicol region of the Mayon South Luzon Railway System will be also located in Daraga.
After the Supreme Court ruling, effectively the bill will amend the Republic Act 7061 which sets the standard for cityhood. Definitely Daraga needs it to pursue their capacity to host the very vital institutions in Albay according to Salceda.
Salceda added that they need recurring resources or continues resources that will come from the IRRA, “additional 300 million for Daraga yearly”.
Salceda said Duterte, as president of the country, has great advantage considering that he came from the local government unit since he understands the local government and the country side.
“So its a glorious day for the country side and of course its a new day for the Mindanao,” said Salceda. “Sa layo kasi napapabayaan mo eh. Kung malayo sayo hindi mo nakikita problema nila at saka hindi kaagad napabibigyan,” he added.
Salceda’s priority projects are also the completion of the Bicol International Airport, the Volcano Southeast Quadrant Diversion Road, the extension of the Pan Philippine Highway, the BRTTH as health care city, the Cagsawa Island protection and the tourism developments in Daraga.[BicolToday.com]