He told Batangan Publisher Renato Tiangco that his bill to make Tanauan a city had cleared the committee stage in the House of Representatives faster than it had taken to win endorsement of the Provincial Board of Batangas.
Congres approved Laurel's bill and a Senate counterpart measure on Dec. 19, 2000 as Republic Act No. 9005 known as "The Charter of the City of Tanauan."
On February 2, 2001 President Gloria Arroyo signed it into law.
Text of Rep. Act No. 9005 was published in Batangan's newspaper edition of February 11, 2001.
On March 10, 2001, a Saturday, the charter was approved by a referendum in Tanauan that drew 8,890 or 16% of the 55,453 registered voters.
Two ballots were either spoiled or blank.
The "yes" had it over the "no" by a landslide, 7,026 to 1,961.
According to cityhood advocates, quoted in reports reaching Batangas on Sunday, the turnout was two times better than previous conversion-to-city exercises.
Still, 16% was 16%.
It suggested that 84% of Tanaueños were in any of the following states regarding cityhood :
In light of Saturday's referendum turnout, that seemed wise.