Senator Panfilo Lacson is backing Rep. Jerry P. Treñas’ longstanding plan to divide Iloilo City into two legislative districts.
Lacson recently filed a senate bill that seeks to redistrict the city. His bill is a counterpart measure of House Bill No. 1219 filed by Treñas in July last year.
Treñas said he was happy that Lacson filed a counterpart bill in the Senate.
He recalled that in 2010, he authored a similar bill. The House of Representatives approved on the third and final reading his bill but the Senate failed to pass it before the end of the 15th Congress.
Once the redistricting bill becomes a law, the city will split into First Legislative District (Mandurriao, Jaro and La Paz) and Second Legislative District (City Proper, Lapuz, Arevalo and Molo).
Treñas said the move complies with all the parameters set forth by the Constitution. Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution requires a city to have a minimum population of 250,000 to have a representative.
But he said, “It does not have to increase its population by another 250,000 to be entitled to an additional district.”
The city, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), has a total population of 447,992 as of August 2015.
“The Supreme Court allowed Marikina city to have two legislative districts despite having a population of 450, 000,” Treñas pointed out.
He said the addition of another legislative district in the city is not only necessary but long overdue.
“It is about time that the city, which has long been acknowledged as the cultural, commercial, academic, and religious and government center in Western Visayas, gets another legislative district,” the congressman further said. IMT