Is Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos' possible congressional bid in 2016 in jeopardy?
Batangas province may not be able elect additional representatives in the House of Representatives this 2016 even after President Benigno Aquino III signed a law adding two more additional legislative districts to the province.
Commission on Election Resolution No. 9981 states that August 31, 2015 is the last day to allocate elective seats for members of the House of Representatives and other local elective positions.
Republic Act 10673 was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on August 19 and will take effect 15 days after its publication in any newspaper of general circulation. The law, however, has yet to be published.
Batangas Comelec election supervisor Atty. Gloria Petallo said the act should have been signed earlier in order to meet the deadline.
"Inuutusan na nga na bigyan ng copy ang Comelec for the rules and regulation kung paano ito ipapatupad. Pero, sa ngayon nga I don't think na may copy na na-transmit," Petallo said.
In the newly passed act, from four legislative districts, Batangas Province will have additional two.
The additional districts are Batangas City, which will comprise the fifth district, and Lipa City, which will comprise the sixth district.
Previously, Batangas City belonged to the province's second legislative district, while Lipa City was part of the province's fourth legislative district.
Governor Vilma Santos Recto earlier indicated that she might run as representative of Lipa City in 2016.
Comelec Resolution No. 9982, however, states that there were still only four seats allocated in the province.
"This [Comelec Resolution 9982] was sent August 18 pa naman. So tignan natin kung meron pang pagbabago," Petallo said.
If there will be no changes, the additional representatives will be elected in 2019, Petallo said.
The bill was passed by Batangas 2nd District Representative Raneo Abu in the House of Representatives on February 10, 2014 and amended by Senator Ralph Recto in the Senate on January 1, 2015. Its amendments were concurred in by the House of Representatives on June 9, 2015.