Camarines Sur split to cost P1.4B, says gov | Inquirer News

Camarines Sur split to cost P1.4B, says gov

/ 11:19 PM August 06, 2011

Not only is there no urgency or no necessity to divide Camarines Sur, it might also prove to be “too costly”, the province’s governor, Luis Raymond “LRay” Villafuerte Jr., said.

Citing a study by the University of the Philippines, Villafuerte said that around P1.4 billion will be needed to be able to cover the expenses of dividing the province.

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“There will be a need to build a new capitol, offices, hospitals and police stations. The employees might also be affected because their might be a possibility of mass lay-offs,” he said.

Villafuerte added that the province will not be the only one affected by the change but also the national government.

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“Government offices like the DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development] will have to make adjustments to cover the changes in the province,” he said.

Taxpayers’ burden

“Just imagine you have to establish new government departments in a new province. This is an additional financial burden to the government, to the taxpayers,” he said.

Villafuerte, who is strongly against the division of Camarines Sur, explains that “the division proposal is so unpopular” in the province.

“There is no clamor from our people. There is no support,” said Villafuerte. He also added that “[the proposal] will lose in the plebiscite especially because it has no direct benefit,” citing a similar failed proposal in 2007 to divide Quezon province and create Quezon del Sur.

He said the move to divide Camarine Sur would delay development that he has set into motion, citing as example the emergence of Caramoan town as a tourist destination.

The House of Representatives has passed on third reading the bill creating the province of Nueva Camarines out of Camarines Sur.

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New province, new gov

It seeks to create the new province out of 10 towns from the fourth district and six towns and a city from the fifth district of the province.

Ironically, the bill is being supported by the governor’s father, Rep. Luis Villafuerte Sr.

In a visit to Inquirer recently, Governor Villafuerte said dividing Camarines Sur was part of “gerrymandering,” a political maneuver meant to assure the election victories of those pushing for the division.

In an earlier interview, the governor said if the intention of the bill’s authors was to push progress in Camarines Sur, the full enforcement of a 1994 law would suffice—the Partido Development Act (PDA).

Among lawmakers supporting the division of Camarines Sur are Rep. Rolando Andaya (1st district), a close ally of former President Macapagal Arroyo, and Rep. Dato Arroyo, son of the former President.

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TAGS: Camarines Sur, Government
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