Lawmaker thumbs down ‘3-district’ Pasig City
Dividing Pasig City’s lone congressional district into three was once an appealing idea to its incumbent representative in the House. But not anymore.
Rep. Roman Romulo thumbed down the proposal coming from a group of Pasig residents who had launched a petition in May calling for the three-way split.
In a media forum earlier this week, Romulo recalled that he actually filed a bill pushing for that new setup in 2007, thinking “it would make my life easier, (for) instead of having one big district, there will be two or three, which will make it more manageable.” He was then on his first term as congressman.
But he later realized that while having additional districts would significantly cut down his workload, “it will not resolve the bigger problem of migration,” he said.
Every time the House increases its membership, large chunks of funding are taken from the national government which could otherwise be used to improve the economic situation especially in the provinces, he explained. The House currently has 289 members.
Romulo, who is on his third and last term, pointed out that because a huge share of government funds is concentrated in Metro Manila, people migrate to the capital mainly because of better prospects of employment.
“What we need to do actively is for national funds to be poured into the provinces. We should start developing other centers of development in the provinces,” Romulo said.
The new proposal to split Pasig into three now strikes him as something designed for “political convenience rather than something that will be of help,” he added.
In May, the Inquirer reported that a group composed of around 50 Pasig residents representing the business, academic and professional sectors launched a petition asking Romulo to sponsor a bill that would create two more districts in the city.
The petition’s signatories included noted Pasigueños such as former Sen. Rene Saguisag and retired Sandiganbayan Justice Raoul Victorino.
It pointed out that under the Constitution a city or province with a population of 250,000 shall be entitled to a congressional seat. However, despite the Philippine Statistics Authority’s projection that the city could reach a population of 771,188 this year, Pasig remained a lone district.
The group’s lead convener, Jonjo Miguel, then said the city’s “underrepresentation” in Congress has deprived its residents the much-needed public funds befitting a highly urbanized city. Miguel maintained that the proposal was not backed by any political group in Pasig, where the local government has been dominated by the Eusebios since 1992.
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