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    Posted December 29, 2013 by
    Sergiom
    Location
    San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    The Folks in San Pedro Town, Laguna Province, Philippines Voted in Favor of Cityhood in yesterday’s Referendum

     
    I spent much of my adolescent years in the town of San Pedro in Laguna Province, Philippines. It was in 1984 when my parents were able to purchase a house and lot in the said town. San Pedro Town is the 'gateway' of Laguna Province if you're coming from Metro Manila and other parts of Central and Northern Luzon and will be going to Southern Luzon by land. The mentioned town is a 'haven of subdivisions' since many real estate or housing projects were established there in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Middle class subdivisions abound in the area. There are also some 'exclusive' or 'rich people's villages' in the area. The town of San Pedro in Laguna, Philippines is sandwiched by 2 cities- Biñan and Muntinlupa. Biñan is also a place in Laguna Province while Muntinlupa City is part and parcel of Metro Manila. Muntinlupa was the very first city and municipality to declare a 'ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam' in the Philippines. Biñan City in Laguna Province also declared a 'ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam' after Muntinlupa City's successful drive against the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam. Biñan City in Laguna Province was the second municipality and city in the Philippines to effectively ban plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam. On December 5, 2013 the municipal government of San Pedro, Laguna finally declared a 'ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam' after its neighboring cities of Muntinlupa and Biñan made successful efforts in implementing restrictions on the use of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials.


    San Pedro, Laguna is also about to become a city after its residents voted in favor of 'cityhood' yesterday- December 28, 2013. A referendum was held yesterday to ask residents of San Pedro, Laguna if they're in favor of transforming their town into a city. Majority of voters favored cityhood. Hence, San Pedro Town is now officially a city in Laguna Province, Philippines.




    Last February of this year, the two houses of Philippine Congress have approved the transformation of the progressive municipality of San Pedro into a city, raising the total number of cities of Laguna to about six. Several politicians, civic leaders and entrepreneurs from San Pedro Town had consistently lobbied with the lawmakers for the approval of the cityhood of San Pedro from last year 2012 until last February, 2013. Legislators who approved of the bill transforming San Pedro Town in Laguna into a city collectively expressed that "such conversion would translate into efficient local governance that would mean development, prosperity and better quality of life for its people.”

    San Pedro is one of the most progressive towns of Laguna today with many supermarkets, commercial banks, big factories, business establishments, schools, hospitals and subdivisions, including Pacita Complex which is one of the biggest in the country. Leaders of San Pedro hailed Former Mayor Calixto Cataquiz for his persistent efforts to campaign for cityhood and the past administration Former Mayor Bierneza for the unprecedented progress and growth San Pedro is enjoying today. Many civic leaders noted that the cityhood of San Pedro came in later than those of its neighboring towns. Binan and Cabuyao were converted into cities last year while Sta. Rosa became a city more than 10 years ago. According to the 2010 census, the town of San Pedro has a population of 294,310 inhabitants. Despite being the third smallest in the entire Laguna Province, with a total land surface area of only 24.05 km2, San Pedro has the highest population density in the whole province. The cityhood conversion of San Pedro is expected to further boost the town with more revenues which, in turn, will ensure more projects and services.



    San Pedro Town is actually Laguna's gateway to Metro Manila, sharing its boundary with Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila's southernmost city. This position makes San Pedro a popular suburban residential community, where many residents commute daily for work to Metro Manila. Support groups from the local government, civil society and non-government organizations are striving hard to incorporate San Pedro into Metro Manila by the year 2015.

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