By Virgil Lopez/Sunnex | Sun Star
MANILA -- Senators on Thursday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking the creation of a fourth legislative district in Bukidnon, a highland province in Northern Mindanao.
Twelve senators backed the passage of the House Bill 5236 with no opposition or abstention on the last day of the congressional session before the two-week break.
At present, Bukidnon has three districts but Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., chairperson of the committee on local government, noticed that the provincial population has grown steadily over the years, thus the need for additional seat in the House of the Representatives.
Marcos cited data from the 2010 National Statistics Office (NSO), which pegged Bukidnon's population at 1,299,192.
The proposed district shall be composed of Valencia City, Kalilangan, and Pangantucan.
The first district shall be composed of the municipalities of Baungon, Libona, Malitbog, Manolo Fortich, Sumilao, and Talakag; the second district shall be composed of Malaybalay City, Impasugong, Cabanglasan, Lantapan, and San Fernando while the third district shall be constituted of Kadingilan, Damulog, Dangcagan, Don Carlos, Maramag, Kibawe, Kitaotao, and Quezon.
"The rule on reapportionment is based on the principle of equality of representation. Larger representative districts should, therefore, be entitled to more representatives in Congress. The people of the province of Bukidnon certainly deserve additional seats in the House of Representatives, after having complied with the Constitution," Marcos said.
The bill, introduced by Bukidnon Representative Jose Maria Zubiri III, was passed by the House in October last year.