Camarines Sur board asks Senate to defer action on province’s split
PILI, Camarines Sur—In a bid to stop the progress of House Bill No. 4820, also known as the “Charter of the Province of Nueva Caceres,” that seeks to split Camarines Sur into two provinces, the provincial board here asked the Senate to defer action on the bill, citing defects in its provisions.
Voting 3 against, 8 in favor and 1 absent, the board approved Resolution No. 386 on Tuesday, saying the measure was “illogical and oppressive” because of these defects.
The resolution, authored by Board Member Angel Naval, said 28 provisions in the bill duplicate the powers, duties and functions solely granted to the municipalities by the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 or Republic Act No. 7160.
Among these were the powers of the municipal governments to create the Office of the Provincial Civil Registrar and process and approve subdivision plans for residential, commercial and industrial purposes and the consequent collection of fees.
The regulation of fish fry collection and fish pens and corral construction within “provincial waters” is not defined in the LGC but it is being assumed by the new province, the resolution said.
Other regulatory powers being duplicated include the regulation on numbering of residential, commercial, and other buildings; inspection, weighing and measuring of articles of commerce; and regulation and fixing of license fees for any business and practice of profession.
Citing the “defects” in the 28 provisions as basis, the provincial board asked the senators to defer action on HB 4820, which was passed in the House by a vote of 229-1 on Aug. 3.
Naval alleged the defects in HB 4820 arose because there was no consultation with constituents of Camarines Sur.
Four of the five district representatives of Camarines Sur pushed for the carving out of a new province called Nueva Camarines to be composed of 17 towns and one city from the 35-town, two-city Camarines Sur.
The four were: Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella (fourth district), Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte (third district), Rep. Diosdado Arroyo (second district) and Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. (first district). Rep. Salvio Fortuno of the fifth district opposed the bill.
The eight provincial board members who asked the Senate to defer action on HB 4820 are all allies of Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr., a major opponent of the move to split Camarines Sur.
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