In a two-page manifesto, 23 Bulacan city and municipality mayors expressed their support for the conversion of San Jose del Monte into a highly urbanized city.
"Kaming mga halal na Punong Bayan ng iba't-ibang munisipalidad at syudad sa Lalawigan ng Bulacan ay nagkakaisa at buong tibay na sumusuporta sa Lungsod ng San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan bilang isang Highly Urbanized City (HUC) sa Lalawigan ng Bulacan," the manifesto read.
The local leaders cited Section 452 of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, which "provides that the cities with a minimum population of 200,000 inhabitants as certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority, and with the latest annual income of at least 50 million based on 1992 constant prices, as certified by the Treasurer, shall be classified as highly-urbanized cities."
Among the signatories of the manifesto were Plaridel Mayor Jocell Aimee Vistan-Casaje, Bocaue Mayor Eduardo Villanueva Jr., Angat Mayor Reynante Bautista, Balagtas Mayor Eladio Gonzales Jr., Baliuag Mayor Ferdinand Estrella, Bulacan Mayor Vergel Meneses, Bustos Mayor Francis Albert Juan, Calumpit Mayor Glorime Faustino, Doña Remedios Trinidad Mayor Ronaldo Flores, Guiguinto Mayor Agatha Paula Cruz, Hagonoy Mayor Flordeliza Manlapaz, Norzagaray Mayor Maria Elena Germar, Marilao Mayor Henry Lutao, Malolos Mayor Christian Natividad, Meycauayan Henry Villarica, Pandi Mayor Enrico Roque, Obando Mayor Leonardo Valeda, Paombong Mayor Mary Anne Marcos, Pulilan Mayor Ma. Rosario Ochoa-Montejo, San Ildefonso Mayor Fernando Galvez Jr., San Miguel Mayor Roderick Tiongson, Sta. Maria Mayor Bartolome Ramos, and San Rafael Mayor Mark Cholo Violago.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had set the plebiscite for the conversion of SJDM into a highly urbanized city on October 30, 2023, which is the same day as the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).
All duly registered and qualified voters of Bulacan for the 2023 BSKE are eligible to vote in the plebiscite from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the poll body said.
The National Printing Office said a total of 2,092,147 official ballots have been printed for the plebiscite to ratify the conversion of SJDM. — DVM, GMA Integrated News