Day 1 of the New Year and I guess I need to start the countdown to the end of my 3rd term in the City Council.
2009 would be my last full year in the City Council. My 9-year, 3-term stint at the local legsilative body ends on June 30, 2010.
There are still plenty of work to do and this year would indeed be a busy one. After taking it slow the past year to help me recover from my stomach ailment, I must now take extra effort to work harder and try to complete my legislative agenda.
January 6 is the resumption of the City Council session and I have already lined up three measures, namely, the extension up to January 31 the period for the renewal of business licenses, which is set by law during the first 20 days of the month; preparations for the Chinese New Year and inauguration of the second arch at Chinatown; and release of the balance of the city government Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) as a result of the Supreme Court decision declaring the conversion of 16 towns into new cities last year as illegal.
On the last issue, the city is supposed to receive P2.055 billion in IRA shares last year. But because of the creation of new cities, this was reduced to P1.861 billion. Instead of an increase of P263 million from the previous year, the city got only an additional P69 million, thereby losing about P194 million.
With the High Court ruling, the city rightfully deserves to receive the full share of the IRA. We need this money to help pump prime the local economy and provide more social services as we face the effects of the global recession in our city.
Thank you to the Christmas cheers from Franklyn Ong of Pasajero Motors, Johnny Martinez of Mantex and DCWD.