Liga ng mga Barangay provincial chairman Romulo Cepedoza on Friday has filed a proposed resolution in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan requesting the three Boholano congressmen to file bills to add more congressional districts in Bohol.
The plan to add more districts in Bohol was the subject ofa headlinenews in the Bohol Tribune back in September 2017.
Bohol has a population of about 1.3 million.
The population requirement for one congressional district is 250,000.
With the current population, at least two more districts can be created, added to the three existing congressional districts.
Cepedoza, being the voice of the barangay heads, said he brought the collective wisdom of the officials of the barangays in aspiring to add more districts in the province.
He told reporters that adding more districts mean more benefit for the people of Bohol, and could spur growth and development at the same time.
While the province has been a recipient of many mega projects, primary of which is the New Bohol Airport, there is a need for another district or two to channel more funds for development.
“This representation as the lead shepherd of the Liga ng mga Barangay is asking for your support,” said Cepedoza in his speech before the SP last Friday.
The proposed resolution has since been referred to the Committee on Rules and the Committee on Barangay Affairs for further study.
With only three districts at hand, the three congressmen of Bohol are facing a work overload or a biting-off-more-than-one-can-chew situation, sources said.
Second District Representative Aris Aumentado, in an interview with The Bohol Tribune back in September 2017, said that while he could still manage to take off his district’s 346 barangays, he believes he could be more productive in serving his constituents if some of the barangays under his area of responsibility would be offloaded and be included in a new legislative district.
“Dugaynakonangandoyngamahitabonisaatongprobinsya kay dakokaayoninga economic advantage para saatongmgakatawhan,” (I have been long aspiring about this to happen in our province, since this can create a huge economic advantage for the people.) Aumentado answered when he was sought for comments on the matter.
Aumentado said that since Bohol is well qualified to create two more legislative districts, it would be a disservice to the Boholano people if “we won’t support the possible creation of additional districts.”
The son of the late governor Erico Boyles Aumentado noted that he and First District Representative Rene Lopez Relampagos had already made initial talks on the said prospect.
Recalling his conversation with Relampagos, Aumentado said the first district congressman had expressed full support to the plan, while Third District Representative Arthur Yap is yet to be consulted on the matter.
“Nag-estoryanami ni Congressman Rene kabahinani last Thursday ugnagkauyon mi ngamaayokaayongamakabuhat ta uglaingduha ka distritopara saprobinsya,” (Congressman Rene and I talked about this last Thursday and we agreed to add two more districts can provide such great benefit to the province.) Aumentado said during a phone interview back in September 2017.
He said creating two more districts for Bohol would be a breeze at the House of Representatives if the three Boholano congressmen would unite for the initiative.
Asked to comment on this pipe dream, Rep. Yap replied in a text message to Tribune last September 2017: “Definitely interesting… something to study.”
Yap did not elaborate on his comment.
The Tribune reached out to Rep. Relampagosyesterday asking to comment on the proposed resolution; he said he wouldcomment once he receives a copy of the resolution.
The Tribune reached out last year to consultant Alfonso “Ae” Damalerio about the move to add another congressional district or two in Bohol.
Damalerio said such moves would “certainly create a lasting legacy for the people of Bohol.”
“Looking at the economic benefits, a Bohol with five districts means additional funding for projects and programs from the national government,” Damalerio said during the interview.
“The three incumbent congressmen of Bohol have nothing to lose, but everything to gain,” Damalerio said.
Damalerio said the city of Tagbilaran, the towns of Dauis and Panglao and two to three more towns could be formed into a new legislative district, as the combined population of these areas can already satisfy the 250,000-population requirement.