Boo Award: Baguio City Officials

Really, Baguio City officials, don’t you have more important things to do? What will Baguio City gain in joining this silly suit filed by the League of Cities in the Philippines (LCP) against newly formed cities such as Tabuk in Kalinga Province?

Will it stop the uglification of Baguio? Will it improve the city’s quality of air so it becomes breathable and regains its pine scent? Will it stop the landslides that kill your constituents during heavy rains? Will it decongest a city bursting at the seams?

Seriously, will Baguio City’s problems disappear if Tabuk does not become a city?

The argument, stated in Baguio City’s petition, that local governments should not depend on the national government for their revenues would hold water IF most cities are not dependent on the national government. It’s bad, of course, to depend on the national government but so long as we have an overly centralized tax system then LGUs have no choice but to depend on their IRAs (internal revenue allotment) from the national government.

Sige nga, doesn’t Baguio also depend on its annual IRA remittances to survive? The fact that existing cities are too afraid that their IRA share will go down if more cities are created betrays their dependence on IRAs from the national government.

So, instead of joining this ridiculous suit to stop Tabuk from becoming a city, maybe Baguio City officials should campaign for a change in our tax system so that the bulk of the taxes (particularly for extractive industries like mining) goes to cities/provinces where they actually originate. Let us, for instance, force those mining companies to pay their taxes in Baguio and/or Benguet and not in Metro Manila. LGUs na lang ang mag-remit sa Imperial Manila if they want to or if they have something to spare.

Baguio has more important problems that the city officials should attend to. Its suit smacks of Big Brother bullying and deserves a Boo Award.

UPDATE: Kayni points out some valid concerns on urbanization and the challenges that Tabuk faces given its new status. She states: “If Tabuk wants to be a city, then it needs careful, environmental friendly, city planning.” Read more here.

SOMEWHAT RELATED: The Uglification of Baguio; Finally, a Boo Award; The Boondock Awards.

10 Comments
  1. Ewan ko ba sa mga ito. They should know better. Hayaan na lang nila ang ibang cities who already filed a case. Eh sumali pa sila 🙁

  2. it’s all about the money, ya know.
    baguio city will receive mo money if other towns won’t turn into one.

    and some towns want to turn into a city in order to raise taxes, be independent of the province et al

  3. haven’t been to tabuk so I don’t know if it’s ripe to be a city. they can have a go and the ultra religious right-wing baguio council can sue them because they have nothing else to do maybe 😀

    La trinidad for example, can’t yet be a city….although I have seen a couple of really struggling cities which shouldn’t have been made into one, such as Urdaneta for example. How is that a city?

  4. Tabuk is only a component city not as an independent city just like Baguio, Makati etc…..that’s how Tabuk plan for itself to be a component city then in the future we will call it a full city..Becoming a component city is very helpful with budget support from the National.. Remember the IRA they based it on population and Area, 100% collection from Tabuk is submitted to the National and only 40% returns…What is Baguio if we compare the land area of Tabuk..Barangay Bulanao alone is bigger than Baguio and Tabuk is composed of large 155 Barangays..Tabuk is even bigger than Manila..How can Tabuk cements it’s roads if they only depends on IRA, how can Tabuk improved such a large Municipality if it all depends on the IRA..imagine this “A 1 hour travel from barangay Laya Tabuk, to Barangay Mabato Tabuk” all from Tabuk…Just if this city League of mayors is telling that “A budget of China is equals to the budget of the Philippines” Infrastructure projects doesn’t depends on population specially roads.”

    What if we will reversed the situation “Mayor Bautista will be the mayor of Tabuk, and Mayor Lammawin will be the mayor of Baguio! what would be the reaction of Mayor Bautista if mayor lammawin does what Bautista had done today?”

  5. they deserve the boo award. as for tabuk, i’m still “unsure” if it’s ready to become a city. nat’s mention of component city idea is a start, but i just can’t imagine it a city yet – because still – i only see the green rice fields as far as the eye can see – the memories of my childhoo.

    bill, i like the new look.

  6. Hi tutubi,
    Yup, it’s all about the money. The new cities want to get more and the established cities want to keep it for themselves. I believe in spreading the money around so I’m with the new cities on this one. Thanks.

    Hi Nashman,
    La Trinidad looks more like a city than San Carlos and Urdaneta 🙂

    Hi Nats,
    Thanks. Good suggestion about reversing the situation. Some of the LCP cities who are now complaining became cities at a time when the local income requirement (for them to become a city) was really low. Kaya they should’t be complaining about Tabuk.

    Hi Kayni,
    I was thinking of putting a link to your thoughtful post on the urbanization problems of Tabuk but forgot to. I will add it as an update.

    Thanks. I’m still trying to tweak it so the text will be bigger. Post titles with 2+ lines also look weird. Hope to get them fixed 🙂

  7. Bay-amun Manong Bill. They will never listen to the TRUE people of Baguio and the Cordillerans. TThey only listen to the outsiders lang naman. This has been proven by the erection of SM, the (never finished) flyover, the privatization of CJH(which does not belong to the gov’t talaga…my ass!). When did they listen to us nga naman diba?

    This just proves that the officials never learned from the earthquake. Despite the city being overly overpopulated and stupidly auglified, they contiue the “progress” kuno… they keep on enticing (sually asshole) local toursits and asshoole immigrants.

    BRUTAL AS I MAY SOUND, I WISH NA MAGKA 8.0 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE. KAHIT PINAKAMALAKAS NA NABAGYO, HINDI PA SILA NAUUNTOK. I THINK AN ALA-1990 EARTHQUAKE WILL REALLY WAKE THEM UP.

    Karma comes 10 times!

  8. Hi jag. Your Auntie Rhoda K. Fernando is my cousin, on her mother side.

    Regarding La Trinidad, it would be interesting how those folks will vote, should it wind down that way.
    It’s all about politics.

    Cheers and goodhealth.

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