Sablan opposed to BLIST concept
by SC Aro
SABLAN, Benguet (6 October) -- The municipality of Sablan is opposed to the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tublay (BLIST) concept as they perceive that development includes only a portion of the town and not the whole municipality.
In a forum held last week, Sablan Mayor Bony Tacio said that in the concept, their town will only serve as catch basin of Baguio for development programs.
Municipal Planning and Development Office Coordinator Engr Nicomedes Caliging said the BLIST concept only included Banangan which hosts various subdivisions and which has vast water resources. He added that the concept does not include projects that would uplift the standard of living of the townspeople.
To date, the town accommodates some housing subdivisions such as St. George, Lexber Heights, Sta Lucia, Crown Hill, Saint Louis Housing, and private housing entities.
In giving consideration to the concept, Caliging stressed that the people behind it have yet to lay down their proposals to be presented to the people for consultation whether to accept or reject the proposal.
In other developments, on Executive Order 220 and the autonomy issue, Caliging suggested that the first priority should be to capacitate the local government units to prepare them before adopting the autonomy concept.
Vice Mayor Lawana said that Sablan resoundingly rejected the autonomy issue. But should there be some proposals for amendment, Lawana said they should be informed so that they can present and explain to their constituents for them to decide later on.
As to the town's income, presently the town has P26 million annual budget 80 percent of which comes from the Internal Revenue Allotment.
As to the generation of other resources, Gayaman said while the Investment Code is in place which will guide the town in the entry of businesses and as the town's future source of income, the problem is the implementation of the Revenue Code.
They have yet to file cases against investors who did not conform to guidelines set under revenue rules and encompassing laws on trade and commerce.
Meanwhile, the town purchased an 11- hectare area as proposed site for the sanitary landfill, eco-tourism park, demo farm among others. With a total cost of P4.5 million, initial payment of P1.5 million has already been made.
Caliging said they have tapped the services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other concerned agencies for the development of a feasibility study on the Solid Waste Management Program mandatory for local government unit to implement based on Republic Act 9003. (PIA-Benguet) [top]