THE local government of San Jose Del Monte City in Bulacan led by Rep. Florida Robes and Mayor Arthur Robes has started its campaign transforming the city into a “Highly Urbanized City (HUC).
The “yes vote” kick off campaign was launched coinciding with the celebration of the 8th Tanglawan Festival.
According to Rep. Rida, it was just proper to ignite the San Josenos’ quest for hope and a bright future during the Tanglawan Festival which was derived from the word “Tanglaw” which means light.
The Robeses said the city now meets the prescribed parameters to become a “Highly Urbanized City.”
“Kailangan-kailangan natin ito. Lumalaki and ating populasyon at nag-qualify tayo para maging HUC. Kapag tayo ay component city lamang, medyo maliit and ating pagkukunan ng paglilingkod at serbisyo sa ating mamayang San Joseno,” the lady solon added.
The solon said while the population of the city is growing, the needs for better lives and services is also growing.
Rep. Rida vowed to bolster the city’s free education program which has, currently, some 6500 beneficiaries for the residents of the city’s “District 2.”
“We would like to replicate this in District 1,” she said.
Once the city becomes an HUC, it will adopt three cities in the province.
For his part, Mayor Arthur pointed out that the city “more than meets” the required 200,000 inhabitants and the locally-generated P250 million annual income for the past two consecutive years.
In an interview, after joining a Zumba contest for the elderly, Mayor Robes said that he is hopeful that his constituents and other voters in the Province of Bulacan would vote “yes” for the city’s bid to become and HUC during the plebiscite on October 30, 2023.
The Tanglawan was inspired by an “old story” when people who were in hiding during World War 2 saw streak of light leading to an image of San Jose del Monte which literally translates to St Joseph of the Mountains.
The 10-day festival was participated in by all sectors in the city, from the elderly down to school children. People can enjoy festivities such as Arya-arya street dancing, cultural fashion show where even the indigenous people participated, a Zumba contest for the elderly, and Unity Walk which was joined in by some 15,000 residents.
A 2020 date from the Philippine Statistics Office showed that San Jose del Monte City has a population of 651,813 in 156,871 households.
This is the 18th most populated city in the country and the largest local government unit in Bulacan and Central Luzon.
The city was proclaimed as a Highly Urbanized City by President Rodrigo Duterte through Proclamation No. 1057 in December 2020. It will take effect after its ratification on October 30.