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Editorial | Carving new congressional districts

Time and again, the issue on carving new congressional districts in the city or breaking the city into two with Davao River as the natural boundary comes to the surface. This finds traction in the 1987 Constitution that only requires a population of 250,000 for the creation of a new congressional district.

According to the 2015 Population Census conducted by the Philippine Statistical Authority, the city has a population of 1.6 million and with a little math would show that it can have six districts. This proposal needs to be brought out in the light of day so that more people can talk about it, dissect the nuances of dividing geographic areas and its political advantages.

Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, a veteran legislator who has served since 1986, said in a privilege speech yesterday that there was a previous resolution by the past council on this which was not acted on. He said a Representative has a budget of 100M, so more districts will equate to more budget, therefore more services for the constituents. It truly has a budgetary benefit to the new districts but on the other hand, will be a budgetary burden to the national government.

Majority floorleader Atty. J. Melchor Quitain, agrees with Councilor Dayanghirang regarding population and representation in Congress but is wary about the financial requirements in putting up three congressional districts.

Many provinces in the country have the same clamor, especially as cities become highly urbanized and densely populated. How do the local government and the constituents view this?

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