By Franco Regala
MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga – The local government here hopes to transform Mabalacat into a model city after it announced plans to build a P1-billion city hall.
Mayor Crisostomo Garbo said the new city hall will be located on a two-hectare lot in Barangay Mabiga, in front of Mary Help of Christians School beside the San Rafael Church.
“We are planning to purchase two out of the six-hectare lot from the private owner. The lot is worth P400-million.
Then, we will construct a city hall worth P600-million with complete facilities and equipment. It is now on the drawing board and the plan is now being finalized,” the city mayor said.
Garbo said the fund will come from a P1-billion bank loan.
He said the city’s increasing budget, as well as rising internal revenue allotment (IRA) which is currently at P1.7 billion, Mabalacat will be able to easily pay the loan.
The P700 –million local income of the city comes mainly from Clark Freeport Zone, bus terminal and also from the business taxes.
Garbo disclosed that they will start to pay the loan after two years upon release. “The loan will be paid for 12 years, and we will only allot P8-million per month. That’s around P100-million per year. This will be done without sacrificing the operations, programs, and services of the city government needed by the people,” he said.
“The price of a lot in the area reached P40, 000 to P50,000 per square meter but the owner of the two-hectare lot is offering the property at only P20, 000 per square meter for the city, so we grab the opportunity,” he added.
Garbo said that it is his vision to make Mabalacat City a model city not only in Region 3 but in the whole Philippines.
“I want to see Mabalacat City free from informal settlers. Wala ng nakatira sa mga Estero, sa tabi ng ilog and I dream to convert it into a green city,” he also said.
Garbo said they can only do it through the prayers of the Mabalacquenios. “Please pray for us so we could succeed and pass all the trials that we are facing as a city. Let us pray and work for the welfare of the people in Mabalacat City. God will prevail,” Garbo appealed.