By Victoria Asuncion S. Mendoza | Philippine Information Agency
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan, July 28 (PIA) -- President Benigno Aquino III signed into law Republic Act 10171, reapportioning the province of Palawan and creating its third congressional district to cover Puerto Princesa City and Aborlan municipality.
The proposal to create the third legislative district originated from the Lower House with the approved House Bill 5608 principally authored by Palawan second district Congressman Dennis M. Socrates.
The senate bill was sponsored by Committee on Local Governments chaired by Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos. It breezed through the Senate after complying with the requirements of the law such as population and the need for the conduct of a public consultation.
For the creation of a new congressional district, the Local Government Code specifies a population of at least 250,000. The 2010 Census of Philippine Population and Housing registered the population of Puerto Princesa City at 222,673 and Aborlan at 32,209 for a total population of 254,882.
The new law takes out Aborlan and Puerto Princesa City from the second congressional district and reapportions these to the third congressional district.
Under the new law, the second congressional district still has 353,865 population which covers Narra, Quezon, Rizal, Sofronio Española, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza and Balabac.
The composition of the first congressional district remains unchanged with Roxas, Taytay, San Vicente, El Nido, Linapacan, Culion, Coron, Busuanga, Cuyo Agutaya, Magsaysay, Araceli, Dumaran and Cagayancillo with the total population of 385,593.
Puerto Princesa City is a highly urbanized city through a proclamation issued by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2007.
“The reapportionment of Palawan is based on the principle of equality of representation, which means that larger provinces or representative districts should be entitled to more representatives in Congress,” Marcos said.
Under the law, the reapportionment of Palawan shall already be effective in the upcoming 2013 mid-term elections. (LBR/VSM-PIA4B Palawan)