Bacolod redistricting likely to happen; barangay and SK polls deferral, too

By  Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Lone district Rep. Greg Gasataya said the redistricting of this city will possibly push through this time, while the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election is also likely to be postponed.

Gasataya filed on July 1, 2022 House Bill (HB) 297 seeking the creation of a second legislative district.

The Bacolod solon said he has been pushing for the redistricting since 2016, but previous city councils failed to pass a resolution of support for the bill.

The current city council approved a resolution supporting the bill Gasataya filed to divide Bacolod into two congressional districts.

Gasataya said the House committee on local government requires the city council resolution.

“The city council has filed a resolution supporting the redistricting bill so it has more chances to push through in the 18th Congress,” he added.

HB 297 seeks to create the first and second legislative districts of Bacolod by apportioning the 61 barangays comprising the current lone district.

Eight city councilors will be elected from each district, increasing the total to 16 from the current 12 elected councilors.

Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said the Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously passed the resolution supporting the redistricting.

“A simple approval from the Sanggunian will do. One of the requirements is for the (City Council) or any local government unit to approve the proposed division,” Familiaran said.

He said the redistricting of the city is long overdue, adding that “more representation means more projects, developments and more funding” for Bacolod.

There should be one representative for every 250,000 inhabitants to ensure that a city or a province is given proper and adequate representation in Congress.

Based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing, Bacolod has a total population of 600,783.

Meanwhile, Gasataya said the House Committee on Suffrage that is tackling the bill on the postponement of the Barangay and SK election has approved resetting the polls to December 2023.

While there is opposition, majority of the House lawmakers are for the postponement.

He said the bill has yet to go to the plenary with the Senate counterpart bill.

“There is a big chance nga ma postpone,” Gasataya said.

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