‘Pasig 3 District Movement’ unfazed by reluctant lawmaker
Unfazed by the negative response from their congressman, a group of Pasig City residents is stepping up a campaign to have their lone congressional district divided into three.
The group, which now calls itself the “Pasig 3 District Movement,” said it was no longer expecting their proposal to be tackled in the House of Representatives for the remainder of Rep. Roman Romulo’s term, after the lawmaker aired his reservations on the idea in a recent media forum.
The movement’s head, Roque Navarro, said their next option is either a “people’s initiative” or a House lobby through their “next congressman.”
“We really tried to reach out to him and make this happen through his sponsorship (of a House bill),” Navarro, a private school official, told the Inquirer on Friday.
According to Navarro, the group disagreed with Romulo’s view that creating two more Pasig districts would result in more public funds being earmarked for Metro Manila rather than for less-developed provinces that need such allocations.
Romulo, now on his third and last term, then explained that he actually filed a House bill in 2007 to push for that new setup, but later realized it would only encourage more migration into the capital.
“But it’s a fact of society and development; migration will always be a problem,” Navarro said. “Does he mean that until we solve the migration issue, we in Pasig can’t have three or four districts in the future? We’re hoping that the next congressman will have the guts to make things right.”
Businessman Dan Tan, one of the group’s 30 core members, said they were not only concerned about the economic benefits the split may bring to the city but also about “the additional voice” Pasigueños may have on national issues.
Another member, Ronnie Cruz, also said that the split would be a “good opportunity to develop new leaders” in the local government, which has been dominated by the Eusebios and their allies since 1992.
The group launched a signature campaign in May. Through the help of the city’s 30 barangay (village) chairs, the drive has gathered about 5,000 signatures so far out of the target of 20,000.
It anchored the campaign on the Constitutional provision stating that a city or province with a population of 250,000 shall be entitled to a congressional seat. The proponents cited the Philippine Statistics Authority’s projection that Pasig would reach a population of around 771,000 this year.
The other core members of the movement are Ric Reyes, a member of the Freedom from Debt Coalition and former corporate executive Jonjo Miguel.
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