Rodriguez’s lone district proposal gets support

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Thursday, August 7, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Pampanga Third District Representative Oscar Rodriguez's proposal converting the City of San Fernando into a lone district has drawn support from officials and other stakeholders here.

During the recent public hearing attended by various local government
City Councilor Lito Ocampo, chairman of the committee on good governance, explained why there is a need to create a separate congressional district for the city.

"San Fernando is already qualified to be a lone district. This is the reason why the City Council created a resolution in support of the bill filed by Congressman Oscar Rodriguez seeking to make a lone congressional district for the City of San Fernando," shared Ocampo.

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Article 6, Section 5, Paragraph 3 of the 1987 constitution stipulates that "each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative."

In the case of San Fernando, local officials said the city has already exceeded the minimum requirement considering that the latest census indicated that the city's population has reached 285,912.

City officials also claimed that a recent study shows that Pampanga is one of the most underrepresented provinces in the Philippines in terms of congressional districts.

Based on the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH), the province of Pampanga posted a total population of 2,350,355 persons, which are covered by only four congressional districts.

The study, the local officials said, recommended that the province should have at least eight representatives in order to attain a higher standard of living.

"If the City of San Fernando becomes a lone congressional district, it will have its own representative doing legislative functions solely in support of the city," said Ocampo.

The other members of the city council, however, expressed the need to conduct an in-depth study on the costs and benefits of having a separate congressional district for the city.

"We need to have a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of this set-up before we move forward," said Councilor Noel Tulabut.

Meanwhile, Ocampo said he hopes the city council will approve the resolution, as it will move the proposed bill a step closer to being a law.

"Hopefully, they can approve this soon and I hope no one will oppose it. We want to take advantage of our qualification," said Ocampo.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 08, 2014.

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