Law adding 2 districts in Isabela signed

Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - September 29, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has signed a law reconstituting the province of Isabela into six congressional districts from the current four.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11080 on Thursday, three days after affixing his signature on two bills that made the city of Calamba in Laguna a separate district and splitting the province of Aklan two legislative territories.

Rep. Rodolfo Albano lll of Isabela’s first district, who plans to run for governor, is the principal author of the bill dividing the province into six districts.

As reconstituted, the first district is now composed of the city of Ilagan and the towns of Cabagan, Delfin Albano, Divilacan, Maconacion, Tumauini, San Pablo, Sta. Maria and Sto. Tomas.

The second district is comprised of Benito Soliven, Palawan, Naguilian, Reina Mercedes, San Mariano and Gamu; while the third district is made up of Alicia, Cabatuan, San Mateo, Ramon and Angadanan.

Santiago City, Cordon, Dinapigue, San Agustin  and Jones make up the fourth district. The fifth district is composed of Aurora, Burgos, Luna, Mallig, Quezon, Quirino, Roxas and San Manuel; while Cauayan City, Echague, San Guillermo, and San Isidro comprise the sixth legislative districts.

In four days last week, the President signed three laws adding two districts in Isabela, one in Aklan and another in Laguna. Earlier this month, he signed another bill increasing Cavite’s legislative constituencies from seven to eight.

Critics have lamented that gerrymandering would mean additional expenses for taxpayers.

James Jimenez, spokesman for the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said voters in the newly created districts would be able to vote under the new geographical setup in next year’s elections.

”The interpretation of the Comelec... is that the effectivity of the law will be in 2019,” Jimenez said. – Raymund Catindig, Sheila Crisostomo

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