Arroyo signs law on new CamSur district

by Carmela Fonbuena,

Posted at Oct 16 2009 10:53 AM | Updated as of Oct 17 2009 06:12 PM

MANILA - President Arroyo has signed into law Republic Act 9716 creating a new district in Camarines Sur (CamSur) province in Bicol region.

Several municipalities in the current first and second legislative districts were consolidated to create the new district. These are:

  • municipalities of Libmanan, Pamplona, Pasacao and San Fernando in the first legislative district; and,
  • municipalities of Gainza and Milaor in the second legislative district.

Signed on October 12, the law--An Act reapportioning the composition of the first and second legislative districts in the province of Camarines Sur and thereby creating a new legislative district from such reapportionment--brings to five the total number of legislative districts in the province.

The law, which was published on Thursday in the Manila Standard Today newspaper, will take effect 15 days after publication.

The law means all the five districts will be entitled to one representative each in the House of Representatives beginning in the 2010 elections.

The proposal to create a new district in Camarines Sur is seen as an accommodation to the president's son, Rep. Dato Arroyo, who currently represents the province’s first district.

The first district's former representative, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr., hopes to reclaim his legislative post in 2010.

Creating a new district would therefore avoid an election contest between, Andaya, an administration ally, and Arroyo.

Pop'n requirement not met

However, the new district has been opposed because it allegedly fails to meet the population requirement for a new district.

Section 5-3, Article 6 of the Constitution requires a minimum population of 250,000 for a local government unit (LGU) or clusters of LGUs to be declared a congressional district. Each district should be composed of a “contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory.”

The five legislative districts will be composed of the following:

  • First District--municipalities of Del Gallego, Ragay, Lupi, Sipocot, and Cabusao;
  • Second District--municipalities of Libmanan, Minabalac, Pamplona, Pasacao, San Fernando, Gainza, and Milaor;
  • Third District--the current Second Legislative District shall be renamed as the Third Legislative District composed of  Naga City and the municipalities of Pili, Ocampo, Camaligan, Canaman, Magarao, Bombon, and Calabanga;
  • Fourth District--the current Third Legislative District shall be renamed as the Fourth Legislative District composed of the municipalities of Caramoan, Garchitorena, Goa, Lagonoy, Presentacion, Sangay, San Jose, Tigaon, Tinambac and Siruma;
  • Fifth District--the current Fourth Legislative District shall be renamed as the Fifth Legislative District composed of  Iriga City and the municipalities of Baao, Balatan, Bato, Buhi, Buha and Nabu.