Mandaue City to become lone district before 2019
Liv G. Campo (The Freeman) - December 19, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Sixth district Representative Luigi Quisumbing said he is positive that Mandaue City will become a lone congressional district in the next Congress.

"After many years. I'm happy to announce that Mandaue will become a lone district before 2019," said Quisumbing in an interview with the media.

He said he was supposed to file the proposed bill for it this year after over one year of studying the proposal, but due to "time constraints," especially that the 16th Congress is about to close, it is likely that the bill will not be approved in both houses.

He added that the campaign break starting February for the May 2016 elections is another hindrance to the passage.

Hence, he said it will be "Congressman Jonas" (Cortes) who will file the bill the moment he sits as the new representative of their district. Cortes and Quisumbing are switching places this coming election.

However, many fear that turning Mandaue City into a separate congressional district would alienate the towns of Consolacion and Cordova in the sixth district. To this, the young lawmaker said the solution is already reportedly incorporated in the "framework" of this proposed bill. This framework has reportedly been agreed by different concerned parties which helped crafted the bill.

He said that while Mandaue passes the requirements needed to become a lone district, Cordova and Consolacion lack the population and the land area qualifications. He said other towns in the nearby districts may be moved to the sixth to complete it.

Quisumbing, however, said the plans under the framework are still being kept in a hush while the bill is not yet filed.

The congressman said whatever happens, making Mandaue a lone district will be both beneficial to the city and what will remain of the first district, as their congressmen (there will be two then) will have more time to help these small districts.

In addition, he said help from the national government like the Department of Public Works and Highways will be both benefitting the two districts.

He said even if the pork barrel is already cut off, congressional districts are still getting support from the national government in terms of projects and granting of financial assistance and others.

Last October, Cortes said that making the city a lone congressional district will be his mission in Congress.

Cortes, who is running for congressman in 2016, said he will again push for it if he wins in the elections.

“Year 1992 ni-qualify na ta. Daghan lang problema. So hopefully…,” Cortes said.

In 2011, a bill seeking to make Mandaue City a lone congressional district was filed but failed to push through due to some oppositions.

Among those who opposed the proposal were former deputy speaker Pablo Garcia, Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia, third district representative Pablo John Garcia, and fourth district representative Benhur Salimbangon.

The sixth district is currently composed of the Mandaue City and the towns of Cordova and Consolacion. Lapu-Lapu City used to be part of the district but was separated after it was made a lone district. (FREEMAN)

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