Thursday, September 1, 2016

San Nicolas (Ilocos Norte) eyes 1st class municipality classification

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte—Over the past four years, San Nicolas has become a hall of fame most business-friendly local government unit under the Level 1 category awardee; now it is ready to claim the title as a first class municipality in this province.

Based on income classification, only the municipality of Vintar has so far met this requirement in Ilocos Norte’s 21 municipalities; being the largest town with around 61,435 hectares’ land area, thus, have the biggest share of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA); where it largely sources its income for expenditures.

San Nicolas town, on the other hand, is the second smallest town of Ilocos Norte with a land area of approximately 49.3 square kilometers. However, it is one of the most progressive towns in the province to date, being host to various public and private partnership infrastructure development projects such as the premiere Robinsons Mall, Accenture Philippines and Expert Global Solutions—two of the world’s largest Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) and other big time investors expanding business here.

In a draft resolution requesting Congress to sponsor a bill for the reclassification of San Nicolas, the main proponent, senior town councilor Miguel Hernando said it’s about time that San Nicolas be reclassified as a first class municipality.

“This has been a long overdue. All the requirements needed had been met even three years ago,” said Mr. Hernando citing once San Nicolas is upgraded to a first class municipality, this would bring in more opportunities for business and tourism opportunities, among others to its residents.

Aside from its IRA share, Mr. Hernando said this town’s average annual income for the last four years warrants the first class classification of San Nicolas with over P55 million increase in local source of income.

Based on the latest financial report of the municipality, San Nicolas has an average annual budget of P138 million.

Three years ago, the second class municipality of San Nicolas has already manifested its intent to move up into a first class municipality through a resolution filed in Congress and Senate but this has been pending up to now.

The proposed resolution, according to Mr. Hernando is meant to follow up said earlier resolution.

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