SAN PEDRO CITY, Laguna – Congress has started looking into a proposal to convert the new city of San Pedro in the erstwhile first district of Laguna a new congressional district.
This after the new city of Binan which is besides San Pedro City has been made into a separate congressional district even as Sta. Rosa City is now also a new congressional district.
San Pedro, Binan and Sta. Rosa used to be one single congressional district represented by outgoing Rep. Dan Fernandez, who is now running for mayor of Sta. Rosa City.
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has filed a bill seeking the separation of the City of San Pedro from the first legislative district of Laguna province to constitute a lone congressional district.
In his Senate Bill No. 3029, Pimentel said that a city may qualify as a legislative district if it has a population of at least 250,000 and the reapportionment is done within three years following the return of every census.
Mayor Lourdes Cataquiz, whose former-mayor husband Calixto Cataquiz spearheaded the conversion of San Pedro into a city, and other city leaders lauded the move of Pimentel.
The City of San Pedro has a registered population of 294,310 inhabitants as of the 2010 Census of Population and Housing.
Moreover, the City of Santa Rosa is also a candidate for lone congressional seat with registered population of 284,670 inhabitants.
Pimentel, who is the chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said there is a gross disproportion between the current population of some local government units (LGUs) and the number of congressional districts.
To illustrate the situation, Pimentel said the City of Biñan with population of 283,396 has one legislative district and the City of Las Piñas with population of 552,573 has also only one legislative district.
“This disparity shows that there is no equal representation and voice of the people in Congress,” said Pimentel.
He said to remedy the situation Congress may enact laws to create separate legislative districts once the population criterion is met.