People of CamSur reject split, senators toldBy Cathy Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A survey showing strong opposition among the people of Camarines Sur to a move to carve out a new province out of it should serve as a guide to senators in handling the bill creating Nueva Camarines, according to one of the critics of the move.
In a letter sent to senators, Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said the survey, conducted at the time of the approval of the Nueva Camarines bill by the House of Representatives, showed 73 percent of residents of Camarines Sur oppose a new province.
The survey, conducted by the Philippine Survey Research Center (PSRC) among 1,200 respondents in Camarines Sur from July 30 to Aug. 15, showed only 25 percent of Camarines Sur residents are in favor of the bill.
It also showed that 92 percent of the province’s residents are aware of the issue.
The bill seeks to create Nueva Camarines out of the fourth district, bailiwick of Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella, of Camarines Sur. It was approved by the House last Aug. 3.
Villafuerte said proponents of the bill are reviving efforts to pressure senators to pass the bill in time for the deadline for filing of candidacies on Oct. 5 to accommodate politicians who will run for positions in the new province.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV earlier identified Fuentebella and the governor’s father, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte Sr., as those behind efforts to divide the province.
The two congressmen have been frequenting the Senate to lobby for passage of the bill.
Sen. Joker Arroyo, another Camarines Sur native, said the creation of a new province is just a case of gerrymandering meant to accommodate officials on their last term, apparently referring to Fuentebella.
Governor Villafuerte sent a letter to senators saying House Bill No. 4820 “obviously lacks public support … contrary to the claims of its proponents.”
“The people are patently rejecting it,” said the governor in his letter.