Isabela gets 2 more districts for pols to ‘have more shares in the pie’
SANTIAGO CITY — Voters in Isabela will be picking two more lawmakers in next year’s midterm elections, after President Rodrigo Duterte signed last week the law adding two congressional districts to the province’s four.
Political leaders did not offer any insight as to whether the two additional districts, created by Republic Act No. 11080, would affect local alliances in Isabela.
Rep. Napoleon Dy said two new districts would mean “better development to village folk as more representatives would bring in projects aside from making laws vital to the country.”
Dy and fellow Isabela lawmakers Ana Cristina Go and Rodolfo Albano III are on their third terms and barred from seeking reelection.
Only Rep. Lourdes Aggabao is running for a second term in May 2019.
All four legislators sponsored the measure to create the two new districts.
Forming six districts benefits Isabela, Vice Gov. Antonio Albano said, adding that “six congressmen will be able to take care of their constituents as their congressional districts are now smaller in terms of municipalities and cities that they will represent.”
“Only good will come out in having two more additional districts,” he said.
The addition of two districts drew mixed reactions from residents, farmers, vendors, jeepney drivers and market traders.
Share of the pie
Some residents said Cauayan and San Isidro were not contiguous to San Guillermo and Echague. “These areas are too far apart to be a single district,” Lilia Almazan said .
Others expressed reservations about the intent of the law. “Some politicians here are likely jubilant for having more shares in the pie,” said Roberto Agudong, a farmer.
Betting Cabaccan, a market vendor, said each Isabela congressman now served smaller districts “but there is no assurance that people will get more social services.”
Isabela’s population stood at 1,593,566 as of the 2015 census. Its average annual income was pegged at P113,405 in 2000.
It had an internal revenue allotment of P221.2 million in 2016, P249 million in 2017 and P267 million this year, according to the Department of Budget and Management.
It’s been common practice for politicians to avoid fighting each other over legislative districts by pushing for laws to create new districts.
Many rival politicians enter into deals with each other to determine who should run for existing districts and who should run in new districts to avoid clashes. —Villamor Visaya Jr.
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.