Gunning for two additional districts for Bohol in one legislative round is a futile move.
This was according to Vice-Gov. Rene Relampagos, based on his familiarity with the nitty-gritty of the processes at the Congress.
Relampagos shared that having been a member of Congress for the past three Congresses, he knows that it might be better to propose one additional district at this time, instead of proposing two additional legislative districts for Bohol which might just hit a snag in Congress.
He said that from what he knew about the Congress before is that when the leadership would give the go-signal that Congress will support the initiative, they will go for one district at a time.
Relampagos said that most likely if the congressmen would propose for two more districts for Bohol to make it five districts in all, the leaders at Congress will suggest to change it and make it one district to add at a time.
While Bohol may have the potential to have five districts, what is a more doable option at this time is to start with one additional district and maybe in the next Congress, the congressmen can work on the second additional district, Relampagos said.
He also said that the reality at Congress it that, for legislation to move, there should be unity among the three congressmen.
He said that even if one will not agree with the two others, it will not prosper.
Relampagos also suggested that the subject matter on adding more legislative districts in Bohol might better be discussed by the local officials here because it will affect the entire province.
His predecessor in the Congressional seat, now returnee-Rep. Edgar Chatto has been supportive of creating an additional district for Bohol as this would mean one more congressman to represent Bohol in Congress.
The additional representative will funnel additional national assistance for projects and programs that will benefit the Boholanos.
Chatto said he indeed supported the idea when raised during the time of the late second district congressman and former governor Erico Aumentado.
Bohol population already reached 1,313,560 as of August 1, 2015.
Article VI, Section 5 (3) of the 1987 Constitution provides that “each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least 250,000 or each province, shall have at least one representative.”
In the earlier proposal, the first district would include the capital city, Tagbilaran, and the municipalities of Alburquerque, Antequera, Baclayon, Balilihan, Calape, Catigbian, Corella, Cortes, Dauis, Loon, Maribojoc, Panglao, Sikatuna and Tubigon.
Comprising the second district are the municipalities of Clarin, Inabanga, Sagbayan, Buenavista, Getafe, Dagohoy, Danao, San Miguel, Trinidad, Talibon, Ubay, Bien Unido, San Isidro, and President Carlos P. Garcia.
The third district covers the municipalities of Alicia, Anda, Bilar, Batuan, Carmen, Dimiao, Lila, Loay, Loboc, Mabini, Sevilla, Valencia, Garcia-Hernandez, Jagna, Duero, Guindulman, Candijay, Sierra Bullones and Pilar.
In the present set up, the town of San Isidro which belongs the second district is surrounded by towns belonging to the first district.
The late Aumentado had even moved upon his return to Congress to transfer San Isidro to the first district since it is an isolated second-district town in the contiguous boundaries of first district towns.