By Jelly F. Musico |Philippine News Agency
MANILA, Sept. 13 (PNA) -– Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has finally filed his committee report on House Bill No. 4820 which aims to divide Camarines Sur, composed of four congressional districts, into two provinces.
Marcos, who is chairman of the Senate committee on local government, announced this in a media interview after distributing on Thursday some 2,000 bags of relief goods to victims of recent calamities in Meycauayan City, Bulacan and Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City as way of celebrating his 55th birthday.
The son of the late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos said he has already filed his committee report which he will sponsor at the plenary on Monday, ending months of grueling and intense debates between the bill proponents and opposition groups.
He said that instead of dividing the four districts into two, both the proponents and the opposing sides have agreed to separate only the fourth district which will be converted into a province to be called Nueva Camarines.
”We found compromise that instead of separating the two districts, only the fourth district will be separated. Everybody agreed, even the proponents from Camarines Sur,” Marcos said.
The House measure has created controversy as no less than incumbent Camarines Sur Gov. LRay Villafuerte opposed the bill which was filed by his father, Rep. Luis Villafuerte.
Rep. Villafuerte personally lobbied for the passage of the bill in the Senate, drawing the ire of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV when the congressman entered in a Senate caucus.
Trillanes, a native of Bicol, has said splitting Camarines Sur would hurt the economic gains that the province has already achieved under the leadership of Gov. Villafuerte.
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, being the chairperson of the secondary committee on constitutional amendments, has even filed her committee report but it was blocked on the floor by Senator Joker Arroyo.
The fourth district of Camarines Sur is represented by Congressman Arnulfo Fuentebella who, like fellow second district Congressman Villafuerte, is reportedly running for governor in the 2013 mid-term elections.
Marcos clarified that he did not intentionally delay the bill in the Senate, hoping his colleagues will pass his committee report at the plenary.
”I did not delay it. I have 216 amendments but now they all agreed to have compromise, I think it will pass in the Senate,” Marcos said.