Calls for the reapportionment of Bohol into five legislative districts were renewed on Tuesday at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).
The SP, during its regular session, adopted a Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL) resolution which re-proposed the long mulled redistricting of the province.
PCL president Gloria Gementiza who sits as an ex-officio member of the SP presented the resolution which urged the province’s three House of Representatives members, Rep. Edgar Chatto, Rep. Vanessa Aumentado, and Rep. Alexie Tutor to craft and pass a bill that would pave the way for the reapportionment.
Gementiza said the additional districts will help spur economic growth and create a stronger representation in Congress.
“There is a need for serious study for the redistricting to promote representative democracy and economic and social progress for the province with a population of more than 1,300,000, Bohol can be entitled now for five legislative districts,” said Gementiza.
In its resolution, the PCL proposed for each legislative district of Bohol to be composed of the following:
- Tagbilaran City
- San Isidro
- Bien Unido
- San Miguel
- Pres. Carlos P. Garcia.
- Sierra Bullones
- Garcia Hernandez
According to Gementiza, Bohol has met the constitutional requirement on population for establishing five districts with its inhabitants of over 1.3 million.
She cited Section of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which requires a city to have a population of at least 250,000 for it to have at least one legislative district.
“The apportionment of the province into three legislative districts was done in the 1900s and the law allows a reapportionment within three years after determination of every census,” said Gementiza.
While the 250,000 requirement pertains specifically to cities, the provision also states that each province shall have at least one representative.
The same section also states that “legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio.”
In 2018, then second district representative and now Governor Aris Aumentado proposed to the 17th Congress the reapportionment of the province into five districts.
However, Aumentado’s House Bill 7999 did not make it to the floor for deliberation as it failed to hurdle the Committee on Local Government.
Similarly, a bill filed by former Rep. Eladio Jala under the 14th Congress in 2004 also remained only with the same panel and was not submitted for first reading.
The measure proposed the reapportionment of Bohol into four districts. (A. Doydora)