Guv backs proposed Mabalacat district

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Sunday, August 17, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Governor Lilia Pineda disclosed over the weekend that agrees and will support the proposal converting the component city of San Fernando into a lone district.

“Maganda iyun na maging highly urbanized city na ang San Fernando. The city is ripe for that in terms of population and income. Kung maging lone district siya ay malaking bagay para sa Kapitolyo at sa ikauunlad ng Pampanga,” Governor Pineda said.

She told Sun.Star Pampanga that the City of San Fernando is strategically located in Central Luzon and its further development will be a big factor in Pampanga’s development.

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“Aside from that, malaking bagay din iyung magkaroon tayo ng karagdagang representante na makakatulong sa Pampanga. Okay ako sa proposal at susuportahan namin sa provincial government ito,” Pineda added.

Observers like former San Fernando City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao agrees with the governor.

“I really believe that the time is ripe for the city to become a lone district. Equity of representation will mean a lot for Pampanga which needs more representatives in Congress. It’s good the City Council has come out already with a resolution of support,” he said.

Other observers, including private sector representatives, 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 posted a total population of 2,350,355 persons which are covered by only four congressional districts.

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

In a recent public hearing attended by various local government officials and multisectoral representatives, 5th City Council Committee on Good Governance chairman Councilor Lito Ocampo stressed the need to convert the separate congressional district.

“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 the City of San Fernando a lone congressional district,” shared Ocampo.

Rodriguez is a former mayor of San Fernando.

Article 6, Section 5, Paragraph 3 of the 1987 constitution states 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, 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.

“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.

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.” (JTD)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 18, 2014.

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