Latest Stories

Finally, Mabalacat gets lawmakers’ nod to become city


For many years since he first became mayor here in 1995, Marino Morales has been lobbying to upgrade this town’s status into a component city in pursuit of a dream.

To Morales, the only local politician who was able to serve as chief executive for 17 straight years, this town’s conversion into a component city is a long-time dream.

His efforts initially produced a glimmer of hope in March 2005 when the Department of Finance officially certified that Mabalacat, where most parts of the Clark Freeport is located, had met the annual average income of P100 million as one of the requirements to become a city.

The next step was for Morales and the municipal council to ask the provincial board to endorse this town’s cityhood bid to Congress. But some board members refused, citing the town’s failure to remit several millions of pesos in accumulated real property taxes over the years.

It took the board about three years to pass a resolution of endorsement to Congress.

Even the League of Cities of the Philippines, which had vigorously campaigned against the conversion of 16 towns in various parts of the country into component cities, did not object to Mabalacat’s bid.

Mayor Oscar Rodriguez of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, LCP president, earlier said Mabalacat had surpassed the requirements to become a component city, which include a locally generated average income of P100 million yearly for the past two consecutive years, a contiguous territory of at least 100 square kilometers, and a population of not less than 150,000.

Only Tarlac officials are opposed to the conversion due to a pending boundary dispute between Mabalacat and Bamban town in Tarlac.

In September 2007, Pampanga Rep. Carmelo Lazatin introduced House Bill No. 2350 (Mabalacat Cityhood Bill) in the House of Representatives. The bill, however, did not become a law until the 14th Congress adjourned in 2010.

Under the 15th Congress, it was an entirely different story.

On February 7, the Senate passed on third and final reading HB 4736 that seeks to convert this town into a component city. It was an echo of the House action on June 6 last year when 241 representatives approved Lazatin’s measure.

HB 4736 was sponsored by Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Miriam Defensor-Santiago in the Senate after considering Senator Manuel Lapid’s Senate Bill No. 2926, which also seeks to convert Mabalacat into a component city. Lapid served as governor of Pampanga before he was elected senator.

In his sponsorship speech, Marcos noted Mabalacat’s rise “to become one of the most progressive municipalities in Pampanga.”

Local officials expect the town’s current P500-million income, including Internal Revenue Allotment shares, to increase to around P800 million once it becomes a component city.

“After 300 years, Mabalacat will be a component city, complete with an international airport, a freeport zone and modern expressways,” Morales said.

Once the cityhood measure is signed by President Aquino, a plebiscite will be held within a month to allow Mabalacat residents to vote on it.



Land area: 83.18 sq km

Population: 203,307 (as of 2007 census)

Registered voters: 90,872 (as of 2010)

Barangays: 27

Income classification: 1st class

Source: NSCB, DBM

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: budget , Department of Finance , Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Miriam Defensor-Santiago , League of Cities of the Philippines , Mabalacat , Pampanga , Senator Manuel Lapid , Taxation

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace