ILAGAN, Isabela—This capital town of Isabela is the fourth and newest city in Cagayan Valley.
In a plebiscite on Saturday, 54,512 residents voted to ratify Republic Act No. 10169, the Ilagan cityhood law signed by President Aquino on June 21, while 2,386 residents rejected it.
Lawyer Irving Calauad, Ilagan election officer and chair of the board of canvassers, said 57,075 of Ilagan’s 83,511 registered voters cast their votes.
The plebiscite was held in 91 villages and was overseen by Commission on Elections Commissioner Armando Velasco.
“This (cityhood) is our dream,” said Mayor Josemarie Diaz.
With the law’s ratification, Ilagan (population: 131,243 as of 2007) became Isabela’s third city after Santiago and Cauayan. The region’s other city is Tuguegarao in Cagayan.
Diaz allayed fears of a tax increase, saying the law provides that tax rates will not be changed in the first five years of the city’s operation.
The attainment of this capital’s new status came 13 years after voters rejected to endorse the first cityhood law in a 1999 plebiscite. Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon