Cebu pols ready for race in possible 7th district
CEBU CITY—Though President Aquino has yet to sign the congressional bill creating a seventh legislative district in Cebu province, two big political groups are already preparing to field candidates for district representative.
The Senate passed on third and final reading its version of House Bill 4427, creating the district. The House of Representative approved the measure on May 26.
Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (third district), head of One Cebu, said party members were discussing plans to field a Garcia in the congressional race and face Board Member Peter John Calderon, the possible candidate of the Liberal Party (LP).
“But it’s still too early to be making an announcement now,” said Garcia, pointing out that the filing of certificate of candidacies is still in October. She declined to say if she planned to run for reelection or try to reclaim her old post and challenge the reelection bid of Gov. Hilario Davide III of LP.
The new district will be carved out from the second and biggest district (15 towns and a population of 423,254, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority). It will be composed of the agricultural towns of of Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, Badian, Alegria, Malabuyoc and Ginatilan.
The towns of Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander and Samboan will remain with the second district, now represented by Wilfredo Caminero (LP).
The seventh district will have a population of 200,092, while the second district will have 223,360.
If the bill is enacted into law, Cebu will have 10 congressional districts—seven in the province, two in Cebu City, and one in Lapu-Lapu City.
Caminero cosponsored House Bill No. 4427 with Garcia, Benhur Salimbangon (fourth district) and Aileen Radaza (lone district of Lapu-Lapu). He said he pushed for the bill’s passage to ensure an additional voice for Cebu in Congress.
“Any additional district for Cebu will mean additional representation (in Congress),” he said.
Cebu’s southern towns, especially needed infrastructure projects like farm-to-market roads to ensure that farmers would be able to bring their harvest to the lowland, he added.
Lionel Marco Castillo, provincial election supervisor, said he found nothing much to prepare for the extra district, “except that we will be having another congressman to proclaim in the election.”
Castillo said more names would also be printed in Cebu’s ballots to include the names of seventh-district candidates. Printing of ballots will start in December. With a report from Carmel Loise Matus, Inquirer Visayas
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