Senate OKs 2 more congressional districts for Rizal

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RIZAL Province may soon be seeing two more congressmen as the Senate approved a bill dividing the second legislative district of Rizal to three districts.

Voting unanimously, the senators adopted House Bill 6222, splitting the Second District into three. The Second Legislative District would be composed of the coastal towns of Cardona, Baras, Tanay, Morong, Jala-jala, Pililia and Teresa, while the Third Legislative District will cover the vote-rich San Mateo town and the Fourth Legislative District covering Rodriguez town where illegal mining operations thrives.

Senator Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government and sponsor of the bill, noted that the measure “will help the local government units involved to better respond to the needs of the people and facilitate in the long-term rehabilitation and the capacity building efforts of the province following this pandemic.”

 “The call for apportionment is not only based on today’s realities but also a resounding echo from the past, recognizing the unique histories of the towns which have molded and shaped the growth and character of the localities and the residents therein,” Tolentino pointed out.

In addition, Tolentino said that the qualifications for the reapportionment have been met, given that the new second district has a population of 449,103.

San Mateo has a population of 252,527 while Rodriguez has 369,222.

Article VI, Section 5 of the Constitution states that each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory.  A locality with at least 250,000 residents is entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives.

Aside from Tolentino, other authors of the bill in the Senate include Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Pia Cayetano, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Aquilino Pimentel III and Joel Villanueva.

Aside from the disintegrated second legislative district, Rizal has three other congressional districts – District 1 which is composed of the towns of Cainta, Taytay, Angono and Binangonan, and two more in the capital city – the Upper Antipolo and Lower Antipolo.

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