Abrigo: Davao needs more congressmen

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ADDING more legislative districts in Davao City is a long overdue necessity of Dabawenyos. When then Mayor Benjamin de Guzman was about to end his term in 2001, there were casual talks to create additional legislative districts.

The city has 182 barangays under 11 administrative districts with 1.147 million inhabitants in 2000 Census of Population but only has three legislative districts.

Based on Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, a highly urbanized city like Davao is supposed to have four legislative districts at that time. Davao River was seen to be the natural boundary if the first district will be sliced into two. But there was no political will during those early years and the concept did not see the dawn brighten. The lapse of time aborted the tale and was overtaken by the swing of the city leadership.

From 2001 up to the present, the city is manned by the Dutertes wherein during this epoch Davao has deputy mayors to represent the community especially in the remote barangays. The city, generally speaking was ran by a lone political party. I am referring to the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod as the old hugpong which was founded by then Mayor Rody Duterte on March 28, 2011. That old hugpong fathered a new and younger hugpong, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago of Mayor Sara Duterte.

Had the additional legislative districts emerge during that time, the Nograles's and other promising politicians will not lose space in the local arena. There are also timbers from the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod who were forced to retire early in politics because they come to the end of the road after three terms. In many instances, the selection is between Hugpong against Hugpong candidates because everybody galloped in, and some were even willing to hang at the rear spoiler of Duterte's bandwagon if only to survive in politics. Mayor Rody Duterte during campaign has to lift either hand or many hands for only one post.

Veteran councilor Danilo Dayanghirang of the second district harks back at the 19th council. This time he said, Davao should have at least six legislative districts based on the 2015 census of population reaching to 1.633 million.

Dayanghirang cited that each congressman has a budget of P100 million for its district and Davao City forfeited the opportunity of having numerous projects for development for lack of representatives in many years.

If I may add the perks my honorable namesake did not mention is that, adding more legislative districts in Davao City will also open the gate wider to promising lawmakers. Not only in the city council but for congressional sits, like: Acosta, Librado, Mahipus, and modesty aside, Dayanghirang himself who is more qualified being one of the most senior and performing city councilors who served Davao since 1986.

Well, as usual, the process would pass through many consultative meetings with the constituents, the mayor, the three congressmen and the patriarch. We hope that the new leadership in the house and the planned shift of government system into federal cannot vex all efforts and turn it into fruition.


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