A City Councilor is reviving the call to create more congressional districts in the city.
Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang said the city is already qualified to have six congressional districts.
The city currently has three congressional districts.
Dayanghirang said the city has already roughly 1.6 million residents. Under the law, it only requires 250,000 inhabitants to form a district.
In his privilege speech during the second regular session of the 19th City Council yesterday, Dayanghirang said there was a previous resolution on the matter but this was not acted on.
Dayanghirang, the number one councilor in the second district, said he is waiting for the instruction of Mayor Sara Duterte and the three congressmen “whether they will favor this or not.”
Once he gets the approval, Dayanghirang said he will coordinate with the Congress on the matter.
Without the reorganization, he said the city has been losing economic opportunities.
“The budget of each Congressman is around P100M, so if we will divide our areas into more districts but given the same budget, we will able to help more. So, with more representatives with smaller areas of responsibilities, we will be able to provide more services,” Dayanghirang said.
Dayanghirang got the backing of the Majority floor leader J. Melchor Quitain, a councilor from the first district.
“In the constitution, at least 250,000 inhabitants will be entitled to one representative, but we have even more inhabitants in the first district alone. So, there should be a census and we will have to wait for Congress but personally, I am okay with it,” he said.
Quitain said that he favors the decision especially that the biggest population in the city is the first district. The first district has a population of over half million residents, with Talomo District comprising the most number.
“If we will remain with the number of congressional districts even with the increasing population, there will be a lack of number of representatives. With more people, there should more representatives,” Quitain said.
Quitain suggested that the Council should consider “more the reaction of the people not the reaction of the councilors.”
However, he cautioned that additional congressional district means more expenses for the government.
“So, it will depend on our budget if we can afford another district because that is another representative, and more people under him or her. So, it should be carefully studied,” said Quitain, a lawyer.