MANILA, Philippines - The proposed law creating the new province of Nueva Camarines out of Camarines Sur has been thrown in the wastebasket for now after the Senate and the House of Representatives failed to act on it before the 15th Congress adjourned last Thursday.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who presided over the Senate committee on local government, does not know the fate of the bill in the next Congress since its major proponents have apparently lost in the recent elections.
“I don’t know. With the view of the results of the elections, I don’t know what they will do. I don’t know what it means to them exactly,” he said.
The bill’s known proponents included former Camarines Sur Rep. Arnulfo Fuentebella and Rep. Luis Villafuerte Sr. Rep. William Felix “Wimpy” Fuentebella, who won against actor Aga Muhlach in the recent polls, was spotted at the Senate gallery on Thursday, but it was not establish whether he was there to push for the last-minute approval of the measure.
Outgoing Camarines Sur Gov. LRay Villafuerte opposed the measure. He lost his congressional bid for the second district, although his son, Migz, topped the gubernatorial race.
Marcos said the bill did not pass because Sen. Joker Arroyo had misgivings over the need to divide Camarines Sur into two provinces.
Arroyo has been vocal in opposing the measure, which he described as a result of “gerrymandering” among a few political clans in the province.
The measure was tackled first during the resumption of session last Wednesday but it was met with opposition from Arroyo. Marcos also appealed that the Senate prioritized measures to be passed on third reading so as not to disrupt the session with the debates on the Nueva Camarines bill.
Due to lack of quorum and time, the measure was not approved until the third regular session of the 15th Congress went on sine die adjournment last Thursday.
All pending measures will have to be re-filed, go back to step one of the legislative process such as undergoing public hearings once the new Congress convenes.