A 7th district for Cebu has been approved! This 7th district comprises the municipalities of Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, Badian, Alegria, Malabuyoc, Ginatilan. The Senate approved the bill proposing the 7th district with a 13-0 vote last June and has just been approved by President Benigno Aquino, III last Thursday, September 17, 2015.
These areas formerly belonged to the second district of Cebu which comprised of 284 barangays, the largest number of barangays in a district, and 15 municipalities, approximately ⅓ of the province’s total before the approval of District 7. Representative Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas of the 1st district, said, “I’m a congressman from the first district, which has 130 barangays. It’s difficult enough for a 130-barangay district; how much more close to 300?” The new district has a population of 200,092 according to the 2010 census reported by Philippine Statistics Authority. The main livelihood for the municipalities in this district is farming and fishing.
Prior to the approval of the bill, Representative Wilfredo Caminero already had asked the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to consider including a congressman for Cebu’s newest district in the coming elections. Comelec Cebu election officer Attorney Ferdinand Gujilde told The Freeman, “Sa akong tan-aw makaapas pa siya, sayon ra siya. (From what I see, this can make [the upcoming elections], it’s easy.) It’s not a tedious process.”
The smaller area ideally would bring about better focus in public service. Provincial Board Member Christopher Baricuatro, “Very good news for the people of the second district! This means more programs and bigger projects for the 15 LGUs. One more Cebuano voice in the Congress means more funding from the national government.” Governor Hilario Davide III said, the new district could bring about increased development for the southwest portion of the island, if lead by an “aggressive” representative. Rep. Caminero describes this milestone as “a fulfillment of a dream that one of the solutions that will fast track development for Cebu is more representations in Congress.”
Photo credits: CNN Philippines