Thursday, December 4, 2008

Valencia City approves funds for barangay plebiscite

The city council of Valencia has approved a P3 million appropriations for the conduct of a plebiscite regarding the division of Valencia City's Brgy. Poblacion into four smaller barangays.

Councilor Oliver Owen Garcia told this reporter the P3 million was the quote given by the Commission on Elections to conduct the plebiscite to let the residents of the city proper barangay decide on the fate of their village.

If the registered voters of the existing barangay would vote "yes" for the division, Garcia said it means the creation of three new barangays in the poblacion area in addition to the "mother" barangay.

Valencia City's Brgy. Poblacion is Bukidnon's most populated barangay at 29, 737 (Population Census 2007). The other two barangays in the province that comes close in terms of population are Malaybalay's Casisang (18, 787) and Quezon town's poblacion barangay Kiokong (13, 627).

Its population is even bigger than that of the municipalities of Malitbog (21, 948), Sumilao (21, 720), Dangcagan (21, 254), and Damulog (21, 183).

The barangay, with an internal revenue allotment of P7 million this year, has been subjected to attempts for division for at least a decade.

In 2006, the city council passed an ordinance approving the appropriation of P2 million for the conduct of the plebiscite set for the second Monday of September. But then Mayor Jose M. Galario Jr., requested to defer the poll due to lack of funds, Garcia said.

He said they have already included appropriations for the plebiscite in the city's 2009 budget.

Garcia said in the amendment he presented that the plebiscite must be conducted before the end of 2009 or as soon as the Commission on elections fixes the date.

He said the barangay has grown too big and it is high time to subdivide it to comply with local government mandates for efficient management.

He clarified, however, that the creation of three new barangays would have little impact on the IRA of the city's existing 31 barangays. He explained that allotment for the new barangays would be taken from the share of the country's 34,000 barangays.

He said he has heard of no opposition to the division or the referendum.

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