Biñan status as lone district sure, says solon
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—The creation of new legislative district in Laguna is as “good as approved,” with just the approval of President Aquino needed for a bill turning Biñan City into a lone congressional district to become law.
Rep. Danilo Fernandez, one of the authors of House Bill No. 3917, said the President “has no reason not to sign” the bill, which aims to carve out Biñan City as a new and lone district.
Biñan, and the cities of San Pedro and Sta. Rosa, comprise Laguna’s first district, which Fernandez represents in Congress.
The Senate, on Jan. 26, approved on third and final reading Fernandez’s bill, through a 15-0 vote. It was sponsored by Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., chair of the committee on local governments, Aquilino Pimentel III and Nancy Binay.
“After this, (the bill) will be sent back to the Congress and then to the Senate (to be signed by the Speaker and the Senate President) then finally to the President,” Fernandez said in a phone interview on Monday, as Biñan started its weeklong celebration of the fifth anniversary of its being a city.
“But it’s already as good as approved,” said Fernandez.
In a statement posted on the Senate’s website, Marcos said Biñan, based on the 2010 census, has a population of 283,396, exceeding the 250,000 threshold required of a city to become a lone district.
He said before Biñan became a city it was also the “richest” municipality in Laguna and that it has generated an annual gross income of P1.3 billion over the last three years.
“The city deserves its own seat in the House of Representatives,” Marcos said.
Laguna is currently divided into four legislative districts, with Biñan getting only a third of the first district’s share and access to national government programs, Fernandez said.
He said local officials from San Pedro and Sta. Rosa cities are also vying to become separate legislative districts.
The terms of office of Fernandez, as well as city mayors Marlyn Alonte of Biñan and Arlene Arcillas of Sta. Rosa, would end in 2016.
Fernandez said the main goal of the creation of the new district is for Biñan constituents to get back what they deserve from national government programs as they, through their taxes, contribute a lot to national coffers.
Asked if the measure is a political maneuver in preparation for the 2016 elections he said it is “beside the point.”