Sun Star – Senate moving closer to approve Mabalacat cityhood

By Sunstar Pampanga

MABALACAT, – The Senate Committee on Local Government is moving closer to approve Mabalacat cityhood once the technical description of the boundary map of the proposed city is established.

Committee chairman Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. requested for the narrative technical description of the boundary map of the proposed Mabalacat City.

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An additional 1,486.0842 hectares was added to the original land area of 8,390.1318 hectares of Mabalacat town.

Marcos directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Land Management Services in Central Luzon to prepare the new technical description of Mabalacat and the political boundary map of the proposed city before the committee acts on its bid for cityhood.

The Senate Committee deliberated on House Bill 4736 or “An act converting the municipality of Mabalacat in the Province of Pampanga into a component city to be known as Mabalacat City” on October 19 at the Senator Ambrosio Padilla Room of the Upper House.

Marcos noted that the issue on the adjusted land area of Mabalacat must be settled first with Bamban town and the Province of Tarlac.

“It is very important that this matter be taken up to speed up, without delay, the cityhood of Mabalacat,” he said.

Representative Jessi Lapuz said they are not opposed to the cityhood bid of Mabalacat, considering that the town has sufficiently met the requirements on income and population.

He added, however, that the Municipality of Mabalacat shall maintain its current land area as certified by the Land Management Bureau, considering that the adjusted land area has its own question on boundary delineation on the border of Mabalacat and Bamban.

Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales allayed the fears of Tarlac politicians, pointing out that a certification from the DENR-Central Luzon, signed by regional director Ricardo Calderon, states that “Barangay Calumpang was not included in the proposed political boundary map of the proposed Mabalacat cityhood.”

Barangay Calumpang has been the subject of a boundary dispute between the towns of Mabalacat and Bamban in Tarlac.

Morales added that the adjustment on the land area of Mabalacat were firmly based on Special Patent 3628, which includes OCT lot 1 and 2 and other relevant titles from the BCDA, specifying the said properties fall under the territorial jurisdiction of Mabalacat.

Representative Carmelo Lazatin, the principal author of House Bill 4736, said Mabalacat is qualified to become a city because it has met the required income, population and land area.

Calderon presented the proposed political boundary map before the committee, giving the Senate Committee a clearer picture with regard to the boundary of Mabalacat and Bamban and the other contested areas.

Marcos added that “great cities in the world” need not have enormous land space. He even stressed the need to include OCT 1 as part of Mabalacat as he gave weight to Special Patent 3628.

Marcos directed the DENR-Central Luzon to prepare the narrative technical description of the current land area of Mabalacat to include OCT 1 of Special Patent 3628.

He added that all the issues concerning the boundary dispute shall be in the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts and not for the committee to decide or adjudicate.

Marcos will present the final form of House Bill No. 4736 in November of the current year.

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