Cabanatuan now a highly urbanized cityPhilippine Daily Inquirer
CABANATUAN CITY—President Benigno Aquino III has upgraded this Nueva Ecija metropolis into a highly urbanized city (HUC), which takes effect once its residents ratify Proclamation No. 418 within four months.
The proclamation, dated July 4, said this city has fulfilled the HUC minimum requirements of 200,000 residents, as certified by the National Statistics Office (NSO), as well as an annual income of P50 million.
The directive addressed a request submitted in July last year by the city council. It said that a plebiscite must be set within 120 days from the presidential declaration, or until November.
The HUC bid had polarized Mayor Julius Caesar Vergara and Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali, who opposed the conversion. “It is the declared policy of the government to support local governments’ initiatives to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them effective partners in the attainment of national goals,” said the proclamation.
Elizabeth Rayo, NSO Nueva Ecija director, has certified that this city hosts 259,267 people based on a 2007 census, while Jose Tan, deputy executive director for operations of the Department of Finance, has certified that the city’s annual regular income at 1991 constant prices was P235 million. Anselmo Roque and Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon