DAGUPAN CITY — Mayor Belen Fernandez again called on the city’s Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) to now approve the city’s proposed new Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) for the city to be able to compete with its neighbors that had already updated their respective CLUPs.

Fernandez said the existing CLUP of the city prepared and approved way back in 1978 or some 40 years ago, is already outmoded and is no longer attuned with the demands of the current times.

She said during the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas (KBP) forum on Thursday that investors who can not find a place to stay in the city are instead heading to Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, Urdaneta City and even San Fernando, La Union, all of which already renewed their respective CLUPs.

As far as the mayor is concerned, it is the CLUP that determines if Dagupan is to survive as a city for another 10 years in the face of big challenges posed by its neighbors.

In the proposed CLUP, three new growth areas were identified. These are the Lucao-Pantal area, Bonuan area and the Tebeng-Caranglaan area.

The growth areas provided for in the existing CLUP are now filled to the brim and there is a need for the city to open up new growth areas for it to maintain its revered reputation as the center of trade, commerce and education in Northern Luzon.

“That is why, I am asking our councilors to now approve the proposed new CLUP if they really love their city and people. Otherwise, Dagupan will soon be at the tail end of economic development,” he said.

Fernandez said Dagupan used to be ranked 76th in terms of competitiveness but since she took over as mayor in 2013, the city jumped to 19th in competitiveness ranking.

Corollary to this, the mayor revealed that she inherited a city from the old administration with a negative P32 million in its budget.

But since she took over, the city made a significant turnaround and registered a positive P95 million surplus in 2015, only through efficient tax collection without even increasing taxes.

The mayor said the CLUP was already discussed in already a number of public hearings conducted by the SP and was already even reviewed by the Regional Land Use Committee (RLUC).

RLUC referred back the proposed CLUP to the SP for final review and approval, where it actually got stocked for months now.

A newsman asked one city councilor on what happened to the proposed CLUP and was told they have nothing to approve yet as a body as the chairman of the committee is yet to submit a committee report. PNA/northboundasia.com