City Hall employees take protest to streets

March 16, 2011

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — City Hall employees have taken their protests over cityhood laws to the streets on Monday.
After wearing black armbands last week, government employees from this city have changed their symbol of protest to red as they wore red shirts that read, “SPUR” which stands for “Stop (illegal conversion of municipalities into cities), Protect (the local government code), Uphold (the rule of law), Respect (the Philippine Constitution).”
They also held a motorcade along major thoroughfares in the city.
The Spur protest, which seeks to stop the conversion of 16 municipalities into cities, was led by League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) President and Mayor Oscar Rodriguez.
It was the Supreme Court that decided over the conversion of the following municipalities: El Salvador, Misamis Oriental; Mati, Davao Oriental; Naga, Cebu; Bogo, Cebu; Carcar, Cebu; Baybay, Leyte; Catbalogan, Samar; Tandag, Surigao del Sur; Lamitan, Basilan; Borongan, Samar; Tayabas, Quezon; Tabuk, Kalinga; Bayugan, Agusan del Sur; Batac, Ilocos Norte; Guihulngan, Negros Oriental; and Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte.
Last week, the LCP filed a motion for reconsideration before the SC in Manila.
Rodriguez said the conversion of these municipalities is illegal because they have not met the law’s requirements like the P100 million income per year and a minimum of 150,000 residents.
He said the existing Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of existing 122 cities will be cut down should the High Court maintains its position over the conversion.
In this city alone, around P20 million will be deducted from their IRA while in neighboring Angeles City, around P27 million of their yearly IRA will be cut down.
Rodriguez said cutting down their IRA would mean less budget for their core projects that primarily benefits their constituents.
Aside from wearing red Spur shirts, the Philippine flag was raised half-mast as a manifestation of their protest.
Also, a motorcade of city hall employees at the Angeles City hall ended in Barangay Pulung Maragul. They have joined Angeleños who are also protesting the conversion. (Charlene Cayabyab)


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