GERONA, Tarlac: This town is racing against its contemporary, the 1st class municipality of Capas to become the province’s second metropolis next to the capital city of Tarlac.
Mayor Eloy Eclar, in a media forum, said Gerona is preparing more challenging moves to become a premier community by becoming a city soon, and his administration is taking every step to reach this goal on target.
“We have the potential and we only need to meet the population requirement to quality for the bid,” he said.
Gerona has a total population of about 90,000 as of latest count and an average annual income of P242-million with land area of 128.89 square kilometers.
“We cannot meet the requirement on population yet but as long as we pass the other two I think we can achieve our goal within my tenure,” Eclar, who is on his first term as mayor, said.
Similarly, Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan is optimistic that his town is long overdue for cityhood.
“Capas is indeed only a few steps away from cityhood especially upon the realization of the [New Clark] Green City Project and poised to become the next big metropolis,” he said in their website.
Catacutan eyes the realization of the bid by 2019 or earlier.
The 440-square kilometer Capas town is home to 140,202 residents based on the 2015 census and close to P250-million annual income.
The Local Government Code of 1991 states that for a municipality or a cluster of barangay (villages) to be converted into a component city, it must have an average annual income, certified by the Department of Finance, of at least P20-million for the last two consecutive years based on 1991 constant prices; a contiguous territory of at least 100 square kilometers as certified by the Lands Management Bureau; and a population of not less than 150,000 inhabitants, certified by the National Statistics Office.