The proposed new congressional district in the city was already approved by Mayor Sara Duterte, a city councilor yesterday said.
“I’ve not seen the specifics but I am very sure that it is the combination of the first and the second districts,” City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang said at the Kapehan sa Dabaw in SM City yesterday.
According to Dayanghirang, the proposed additional district was based on the study of the City Planning Office, which took into consideration the population of the city, economic potential, among others.
The councilor said a portion of the Poblacion District might be merged with the administrative districts of Agdao and Buhangin to form a new congressional district.
“The mayor will send the endorsement to the city council and the city council will endorse it to the Congress,” he updated.
“I saw the draft but I expect the official endorsement coming from the mayor. I have not received it yet but once we do, the council will discuss it,” he added.
Dayanghirang also updated that they are looking forward to a thorough discussion of the pros and cons of the proposal.
“I am very sure that the affected congressmen will have a say whether to accept the proposal of the executive department because we will have a policy program of the city to be sent to Manila for appropriate legislative action,” he said.
But Dayanghirang added that a new congressional district is long overdue.
“We are qualified to have five to six districts. The requirements of the law are only 250,000 inhabitants and our current population is approximately 1.3 million, so we can go up to 6. But the mayor opted for the minimum considering, also, the possible expenditures,” he said.
Dayanghirang also updated that the number of councilors per district may be reduced.
“As of date, we have eight per district and it may go down to six. The issue here is who will pay the councilors for the maintenance operations including their salaries,” Dayanghirang said.
“So, if we add another district, it will reduce the budget of the city but it will add in terms of the pork barrel from the congressman, which is around P200 million,” he added.
From the viewpoint of economics, according to the councilor, “it will be better to remain the number of councilors but add one district.”