Magalang exec to support Angeles lone district proposal

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014


ANGELES CITY -- Magalang Mayor Romulo “Romy” Pecson vowed to support the move to convert highly-urbanized Angeles City into a lone congressional district.

Pecson said he will endorse the creation of another district in Pampanga, a move he described as a “win-win” situation.

He said that if the lone district proposal pushes through, Mabalacat City and Magalang town will no longer share funds with Angeles City.

Aside from this, Pampanga will have two representatives in the House of Representatives.

“Midinan lang chance reng pulitikung manambisyun maging congressmen a manibat kareng mangalating balen kalupa na ning Magalang (Politicians coming from small towns like Magalang who have ambitions to become congressmen are given a chance),” he said.

He expressed optimism that the Sangguniang Bayan will also endorse the move, saying majority of its members are known allies of Representative Joseller "Yeng" Guiao, who recently vowed to propose the lone district bill in Congress.

"Palage ku naman buri re reng constituents mi ini uling dakal ya maging advantage kareng atlung lugar a sakup ning First District (I think our constituents would like it because of the many advantages it would bring the three areas of the First District)," said Pecon.

Earlier, members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod of Angeles City recently asked the support of their counterparts in Mabalacat and this town to support the creation of a lone district.

Angeles City Vice Mayor Vicky Vega Cabigting, together with Councilor Danica Lacson, attended a session in Mabalacat council where they aired their intention. She said that Councilor Maricel Morales proposed a resolution to Congress calling for the creation of the lone district of Angeles City.

After the resolution was approved, Cabigting said they immediately presented it to Guiao, who showed openness to the idea.

In 2004, there were move to create Angeles City as a separate district but it did not materialize because of overwhelming opposition from the people, Cabigting said.

She disclosed that during that time, there was a question on other requirement particularly on the city’s population. “So there was a great opposition from both Mabalacat, Magalang and Angeles City.”

The city has a population of 300,000 and the requirement for the creation of a lone district is only 250,000, it was learned.

Cabigting said “today is a different situation” considering that Mabalacat had been converted into a component city and Magalang is now a progressive municipality.

She said the three areas have distinct and special concerns and that Angeles City needs to have a separate district. “Iba po yung concerns ng Angeles at iba po yung nagiging concerns ng Mabalacat at Magalang.”

“Hindi naman po hinihiwalay and Mabalacat at Magalang, ito po ay pagbubukod lamang ng sa ganoon po ay we will not share the funding [na makukuha nila] from the national government kung sakali man maibalik ang PDAF,” Cabigting added.

She also cited the attention that the congressman or representative may provide to the two areas.

“Natutuwa po tayo na si congressman (Guiao) is really doing his best pero it will be quite difficult for him as years would go by kasi po ang Mabalacat and Magalang alam naman natin ay lumalaki na rin.”

The vice mayor asked the Mabalacat councilors, headed by Vice Mayor Christian Halili, to support and endorse Morales’ resolution.

She revealed that the city government of Angeles City already asked the opinion of its constituents and barangay leaders expressed no objection to the move.

“They agree that it’s high time to have our loan district,” Cabigting said.

Despite this, Cabigting said there is a need to underscore the relationship of the three areas even if Angeles City is created as a lone district.

“Kailangan tamu pung pasikanan ing kekatamung linkages and kailangan pu ma-retain ing kekatamung relationship,” she added.

Guiao advised the Angeles City officials to get similar endorsement from the Pampanga provincial board.

Cabigting said Guiao committed to file a corresponding bill when Congress resumes on May 5.

Halili lauded the initiative saying they like to see a separate congressman for Mabalacat and Magalang.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 10, 2014.

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