House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano named ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap to take over Benguet's lone congressional seat vacated by Nestor Fongwan Sr., who died last month.
The appointment is in a caretaker capacity.
Referred to as an “action man” by Benguet people, Fongwan died on December 18, 2019, because of an illness.
Yap is one of the three representatives of ACT-CIS Party-List, which earned more than 2.6 million votes in the 2019 elections.
Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas said he was expecting a different representative.
“Ang inaasahan natin is coming from the Cordilleras ang congressman na magke-caretaker pero yun naman ang desisyon ng Congress. It is advantageous also in our province at least may caretaker na tayo,” Diclas said.
The province’s Commission on Elections has said that besides appointing a caretaker congressman, the House could also opt to hold a special elections, although that has not been discussed.
Benguet residents have no one in mind who can replace Fongwan.
Rosemarie Melecio, a resident, said she wants someone who is “service-oriented and proactive like Congressman Fongwan.”
Registered voter Doris Ventura said: “Siyempre kilala niya dapat ang Benguet para at least alam niya yung pangangailan, tradisyon.”
Yap, who vowed to look out for the Benguet people’s needs, will man his office in the province Mondays to Fridays. His first visit there as caretaker congressman is set this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Baguio was supposed to file a resolution endorsing City Rep. Mark Go as caretaker congressman to help push swift passage of a House bill on the establishment of the Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay Development Authority.
But Go said he would rather focus on his duties as legislator.