By Romer R. Butuyan
MANILA — Simultaneous with the inauguration of their newly-constructed convention center, San Jose Del Monte City (SJDM), Bulacan Rep. Florida “Rida” Robes has announced the signing of Presidential Proclamation No. 1057, declaring the city as a ‘highly-urbanized city,’ which is subject to ratification via plebiscite by its qualified voters.
Robes, together with her husband, SJDM Mayor Arthur Robes, led the inauguration of the CSJDM Convention Center in Brgy. Sapang Palay, the first convention center in the city and part of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” Program.
According to the lady lawmaker, the convention center is expected to encourage entrepreneurship and give full play to the development of more micro, small and medium enterprises in the city and at the same time attract more investments in commerce and industry to create more jobs.
In her speech, Robes, chairperson of the House Committee on Peoples’ Participation, was delighted and honored to announce that President Rodrigo Duterte, aside from giving the citizens of SJDM a convention center that they can be truly proud of, “has declared our beloved city a highly-urbanized city.”
“We have long waited for this and we will work more to make us truly deserving of this proclamation for the people of San Jose Del Monte,” she added.
President Duterte, through Proclamation No. 1057, stated that under Section 453 of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, the President shall declare a city a highly-urbanized city within thirty (30) days after it has achieved a minimum population of 200,000 as certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority and an income of at least P50 million as certified by the City Treasurer.
“Whereas, the population and income of the City of San Jose Del Monte have been verified and attested to by the Philippine Statistic Authority and the Department of Finance – Bureau of Local Government Finance, respectively,” Duterte said.
“Now therefore I, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby proclaim the City of San Jose Del Monte as a highly-urbanized city, provided that this proclamation shall take effect only upon ratification in a plebiscite by the qualified voters therein, as provided for in Section 453 of RA 7160,” the President stated in the proclamation.
President Duterte’s proclamation came after the Sangguniang Panglungsod of San Jose Del Monte, through Resolution No. 2019-059-09, requested the President to declare the city as a highly-urbanized city.
“Whereas, it is a declared policy of the government to support the initiatives of local governments to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities, and make them effective partners in the attainment of national goals,” the President stated in the proclamation.
As part of the said event, Robes delivered her State of the District Address (SODA), where she enumerated the plans and programs that the city has implemented to help residents cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, on top of the other development projects.
In her SODA, Robes stressed that the city is on its way to development with the implementation of inclusive, sound and sustainable programs to improve the lives of the people of San Jose Del Monte.
“Our end-goal, of course, is to improve the quality of life of the people of San Jose del Monte. We have laid the groundwork for that and we are seeing the fruits of our hard work. We are now a city on the rise and I believe that we can push our city further forward through the help and support of our beloved San Joseno,” she said.
One of such notable programs, Robes, pointed out is that CSJDM Convention Center, the first convention center in the city, which is part of President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program to spur investments by providing the required infrastructure to encourage business, create jobs and boost economic growth.
Located at the activity center of Brgy. Sapang Palay, the convention center has a 1,300-capacity main ballroom, two big function rooms and four conference rooms.
Robes said the convention center “is a dream come true” as it will encourage tourism, culture and education not just for the people of San Jose Del Monte but the whole of Bulacan.
“We are very proud of this convention center because it will showcase who we are and what have achieved so far. We expect it to further boost economic activity in our city and bring our city to new heights of development,” Robes added. (AI/FC/MTVN)