‘NOT DEAD YET’ | Bacolod redistricting bill awaits comments from gov’t agencies

‘NOT DEAD YET’ | Bacolod redistricting bill awaits comments from gov’t agencies
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Negros Occidental Sixth District Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, chair of the House committee on local government, said Thursday, December 28, that the proposed redistricting bill for Bacolod City is still pending in her committee as it awaits comments from concerned government agencies.

Alvarez made the reaction amid rumors that the bill filed by Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya Gasataya was shot down due to lack of budget.

"We are waiting for the opinions of the agencies involved, and so far, it has not yet reached the point to declare the proposal a dead bill," Alvarez stressed.

It was pending because Congress focused on the national budget, she added.

As to public hearings on the bill, Alvarez said she still has to see the schedule of the committee.

"Like with the Negros Island Region bill, we will get input from the agencies involved," she pointed out.

The Bacolod City redistricting bill was filed as House Bill 297 in July 2022, seeking to create the first and second legislative districts of Bacolod by apportioning the 61 barangays comprising the city's lone district.

The creation of the second congressional district has the support of the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod, which passed a resolution recommending its approval.

Under the Constitution, there should be one representative for every 250,000 inhabitants to ensure that a city or a province is given proper and adequate representation in Congress.

Based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing, Bacolod has a total population of 600,783.

A total of eight city councilors will be elected for each district from the current 12 elected members of the City Council.*

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