Senate OKs House bill recognizing Santo Tomas as a city of Batangas

Published March 20, 2018, 4:21 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Hannah Torregoza

Voting 19-0, the Senate yesterday approved on third and final reading a measure emanating from the House of Representatives that seeks to convert the municipality of Santo Tomas in the province of Batangas into a component city.

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara

Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chair of the Senate committee on local government, sponsored House Bill 5160, which recognizes Santo Tomas as a city.

“Like the national hero Miguel Malvar, a native of this town and among the first of countless Filipino revolutionaries, Sto. Tomas is also leading the way towards progress among local government units,” Angara said.

The senator said the “thriving” town of Santo Tomas was one of the most populous in the whole country, and clearly met the population requirement indicated by the Local Government Code.

The lawmaker added the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) has certified the municipality’s average annual income at more than P230 million, which is also well above the required amount for conversion.

Santo Tomas also hosts a 600-megawatt solar panel factory — the first of its kind in the country, and a multinational paints supplier factory that would produce paints for many industries.

“If we provide enough resources for flourishing towns like Santo Tomas, then more Filipinos are given the chance to relish this bountifulness,” Angara said.

According to Angara, a great part of national development is dependent “on the quality and capacity of the country’s local government units.”

“Our national government agencies have drawn economic plans that entail the expansion of the economy outside urbanized cities to dissipate concentrated gains,” he said.

“But to accomplish this goal requires solid foundations, not just of the national agencies, but also of our local governments,” Angara stressed.