Bogo City, Declared Illegal

The Philippines Supreme Court has held that Bogo City and 16 other Philippine cities were illegally upgraded to a city.  GMA news is reporting that “when Bogo became a city last year, it collected about P180 million as its IRA share for 2008, compared to only about P60 million when it was still a town.”   As a result of this ruling,  Bogo, Carcar and Naga each stand to loose more than P120 million a year.

Scuba Diving Development May Be Halted

Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr. indicated that he had given raises and started three new departments with these funds.  There are also plans to develop scuba diving in Bogo City that will likely be put on hold due to this change.

I feel it is likely that the politicians will find a way around this or they will pass a new law to make the ruling mute by making changes retroactive.   These cities cannot pay back what they already have.

I would personally love to see scuba diving developed here in Bogo City.  We are not far from Malapascua Island with is considered one of the best diving spots in the world.  I don’t know if Bogo can compete with that but it would certainly be an enhancement!  I am eager to go scuba diving but first I’ll have to take classes.

The fees I and other expats pay for that will help the Philippine economy as does all of the money we spend here.  I get to have fun in the process.  I get to live the good life and at the same time I support the Philippine community, something that is very important to me.

The court held in a 6-5 decision that the Philippine Congress erred when it gave an exception regarding income requirements for a new city.  The court held that congress had no authority to make such an exemption.  It seems other cities believe they lost some funds when these 16 cities were added.

I know Bogo City has been proud it has become a city so this is also a blow to the cities pride.   I feel the blow myself and I will continue to call it a city.  Representative Eduardo Gullas told his constituents not to concern themselves with the ruling as it is not final.  There will be filings for a reconsideration and I suspect changes in the laws will be pushed through just in case they loose the reconsideration as well.

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Filed under: Expats Living in Cebu

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