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Shenilyn S.

Mendoza
TEEHANKEE-I

16 Cityhood Laws Unconstitutional

It has been a rough road journey of the Supreme Court (SC) deciding on the decision
whether the Cityhood Laws is constitutional or unconstitutional. The Court has made history
with its repeated "flip-flopping" case decision, for on November 18, 2008 the Court rendered a
decision declaring unconstitutional the 16 cityhood Laws in violating Sections 10 and 6, Article
X, and the equal protection clause. In the Resolution dated March 31, 2009, the Court En Banc,
by a 7-5 vote, denied the first motion for reconsideration. On April 28, 2009, the Court En Banc
issued a Resolution, with a vote of 6-6, which denied the second motion for reconsideration for
being a prohibited pleading. Subsequently, the Court rendered three more decisions: 21
December 2009, declaring the Cityhood Laws constitutional; 24 August 2010, declaring the
Cityhood Laws unconstitutional; and 15 February 2011 declaring the Cityhood
Laws constitutional. Clearly, there were three reversals or flip-flops in this case ( CARPIO,J. ).
The third reversal decision made by the Supreme Court declaring the Cityhood Laws
constitutional. The High Court Acknowledge, among others, that the 16 cityhood laws amended
RA 9009, effectively amending the Local Government Code itself. It also ruled in effect, the
Cityhood Laws amended RA No. 9009 through the exemption clauses found therein. Since the
Cityhood Laws explicitly exempted the concerned municipalities from the amendatory RA No.
9009."
This is an erroneous interpretation were in fact neither the title nor the body of the
Cityhood Laws do not sustains and support the decision that the Cityhood Laws further
amended the Local Government Code, which exclusively embodies the essential requirements
for the creation of cities, including the conversion of a municipality into a city. Each Cityhood
Law states that if any of its provisions is inconsistent with the Local Government Code, the
other consistent provisions shall continue to be in full force and effect. and so whatever may
the case and would conflict with the said statement, the Local Government Code shall prevail
over the Cityhood Law. This modifies that the Cityhood Laws intention is to conform to the
Local Government Code and not the other way around.
Making it clear, any possible fact that is unmistakably provided in Cityhood Law, to any
of that in the provision which is inconsistent with the Local Government Code will be considered
void. The statement simply conclude that there is no authorization that must further a due to the
creation of the 16 municipalities and become cities because they clearly have not met the
prevailing 100 million pesos income requirement prescribe in the Local Government Code.

The high court said the laws which created these cities could not claim to be exempted from
Republic Act 9009, which took effect in June, 2001, amending section 450 of the Local
Government Code to increase the annual income requirement for a municipality to become a city
from P20 million to P100 milion. These requirements were purposely done a deterrent to the
wholesale conversion and creation of local government units, thus, stricter measures must be
instituted (Sen. Pimentel Jr.).
Pimentel, principal author of the Code, said the municipalities misinterpreted the
statutory requirement on income when they added their share of the Internal Revenue Allotment
in the computation of their annual income to qualify for cityhood. He clarified that the minimum
income required to qualify for cityhood should be determined on the basis of locally generated
funds, that is without adding on it the incoming funds allocated by the Code as internal revenue
share.
As a result of that erroneous interpretation, bills creating cities literally flew, like a
plague of locusts in the Old Testament, into the calendar of the Senate from the House of
Representatives, he said.
It is just and right to be more strict and extremely difficult for them in conversion of
municipalities and become component cities. Just imagine if they have not reinstated the statute,
and all the municipalities have acquired the following requirements and has the eager to become
a city. Imagine our country without municipalities and every places become cities already. Think
that the conversion of the municipalities into new cities means an increase in the Interval
Revenue Allotment of the former municipalities and a corresponding problem in the Interval
Revenue Allotment of all other existing cities.
My point here is that, there must be strict compliance in expressing the command of our
Constitution. It is insufficient if we just comply it substantially, it's like were playing our statute
here and no manners in complying our Constitution which is the Supreme law of the land.
Regarding to the case, first and foremost the Cityhood Laws did violate sec. 6, Art. X of the
constitution and if there is such exemptions to be proclaim, it should be written into the LGC and
not into any other laws. It also violate the constitution in a way they prevent a fair and just
distribution of taxes to local government units. Therefore I stand on the fact that Cityhood Law is
unconstitutional.
In accord, the court should grant another motion for reconsideration of the League of
Cities and must be true to its sworn duty to defend, uphold and protect the constitution fully and
faithfully.