Councilor supports bill separating Cotabato City from Maguindanao
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - July 9, 2014 - 12:43pm

COTABATO CITY - A councilor has authored a resolution supporting the creation of the city as a lone congressional district, separate from the first district of Maguindanao.

Councilor Bruce Matabalao, who is of ethnic Iranon descent, is just one of many community leaders supporting House Bill 4457, which proposes to declare Cotabato City as a separate congressional district. The bill was filed by Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Bai Sandra Sema.

Sema is the congressional representative both for Cotabato City, which has 37 barangays, and the first district of Maguindanao, which covers 11 towns.

Matabalao said Sema’s effort to separate Cotabato City from the first congressional district of Maguindanao is worth supporting.

“Cotabato City has been a chartered city for more than half a century now and the 2010 census of population showed we now have a 271,786 total population count, higher than the actual population count Congress requires for the creation of a congressional district,” Matabalao said.

Matabalao’s resolution urges the House committee on local governments chaired by Rep. Pedro Acharon to expedite the enactment of the proposed law.

The proposal to create Cotabato City into a congressional district, dubbed “An act separating Cotabato City from the first legislative district of the Province of Maguindanao to constitute the lone congressional district of Cotabato City,” was filed by Sema last May 22.

Cotabato City has been the temporary political and administrative capital of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao since 1990.

While the city is inside Maguindanao, a component province of ARMM, it remained under Administrative Region 12, after residents voted against the inclusion of the area into the autonomos region in a plebiscite in 1990, and, subsequently in 2001.

ADMINISTRATIVE REGION AUTONOMOUS REGION BAI SANDRA SEMA CITY CONGRESSIONAL COTABATO COTABATO CITY DISTRICT MAGUINDANAO MATABALAO SEMA
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