El Salvador City's Divine Mercy Shrine

We can officially state it now as EL SALVADOR CITY after The Supreme Court (SC), by a vote of 6-4, reversed on Tuesday its Nov. 18, 2008 ruling and declared as “constitutional” the Cityhood Laws or Republic Acts (RAs) converting 16 municipalities into cities.

In a 35-page ruling, penned by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr., the SC declared as valid and constitutional Republic Act (RA) Nos. 9389 (Baybay City in Leyte), 9390 (Bogo City in Cebu), 9391 (Catbalogan City in Samar), 9392 (Tandag City in Surigao del Sur), 9393 (Lamitan City in Basilan), 9394 (Borongan City in Samar);

RA 9398 (Tayabas City in Quezon), 9404 (Tabuk City in Kalinga), 9405 (Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur), 9407 (Batac City in Ilocos Norte), 9408 (Mati City in Davao Oriental), 9409 (Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental), 9434 (Cabadbaran City in Agusan del Norte), 9435 (El Salvador City in Misamis Oriental), 9436 (Carcar City in Cebu) and 9491 (Naga City in Cebu).

All cityhood laws, enacted after the effectivity of RA 9009, which increased the income requirement for cityhood from P20 million to P100 million in sec. 450 of the Local Government Code (LGC), explicitly exempt respondent municipalities from the said increased income requirement.

Concurring were Associate Justices Renato Corona, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Lucas Bersamin, Roberto Abad, and Martin Villarama, Jr.

Associate Justice Antonio Carpio wrote a dissenting opinion and was joined by Justices Conchita Carpio Morales, Arturo Brion and Diosdado Peralta.

Chief Justice Reynato Puno, and Associate Justices Antonio Eduardo Nachura and Mariano Del Castillo abstained.

El Salvador, located just 20 kilometers from Cagayan de Oro City has been one of the progressive industrial towns in the province hosting several industries and factories like Asia Brewery Inc., Tanduay Distilleries, Virgin Cola Bottling Plant, Universal Robina Corp., Zest-O Corporation, Timber Industries of the Philippines, Inc., Union Plywood Corporation and junk food giant WL Foods Corporation.

El Salvador also hosts the Divine Mercy Shrine located at the Divine Mercy Hills overlooking Macajalar Bay. The shrine has a 50-foot statue of the Divine Mercy Christ and has become a favorite pilgrimage site for the Divine Mercy devotees.

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