By Sonny Sales | People's Journal
NAGA City -- After over six hours of public hearing on the CamSur division bill by the Senate committee on local government last Thursday at the Naga City Coliseum, oppositor leader Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte appealed that the plebiscite be held after the mid-term elections next year.
“Hinahamon nila kami, takot daw kami sa plebisito, pero ang totoo gusto nilang madaliin ang plebisito para makapaglagay sila ng kandidato sa bagong probinsya,” Villafuerte told newsmen.
“Ang panukalang hatiin ang probinsya ay kailangan pa ng masusing pag-aaral, huwag nating madaliin ang isang bagay na maapektuhan ang nasa 1.6-milyong mamamayan ng CamSur,” he said.
Villafuerte stressed that it is not a matter of qualifying in the legal requirements of the division which is population, land area and income, “but to consider the economic viability of the two provinces once it is divided.”
CamSur is considered the leading province in Bicol in terms of land area, income, population and enormous advancements in tourism and agriculture.
However, 4th district proponents Rep. Arnulfo Fuentebella and his allies Reps. Luis Villafuerte and Rolando Andaya Jr. urged Senate committee chairman Senator Bongbong Marcos and members Senators Gregorio Honasan and Manuel Villar to conclude the arguments on the division bill and “let the people decide on the division agenda in a proposed plebiscite on Sept. 22, this year.”
Senate has designated a fast-track timetable to pass the bill until mid-Sept. and finally hold the plebiscite, but Marcos admitted, thus, “Maikli talaga ang panahon. The passage of the bill is closely affected by the scheduled filing of candidacy on the first week of October this year.”
The public hearing was attended by some 8,000 people.