• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The House committee on Local Government is now consolidating all the redistricting bills, including the creation of a second legislative district in Bacolod City, yesterday disclosed its chairperson, Negros Occidental Sixth District Rep. Mercedes Alvarez.
In July last year, Rep. Greg Gasataya filed House Bill 297, which seeks to create the first and second legislative districts of Bacolod by apportioning the 61 barangays comprising the city’s Lone District.
Alvarez said they are also checking the criteria with regard to the redistricting.
Asked if there will be only one hearing on all redistricting bills by the committee on Local Government, Alvarez said it depends on the position of government agencies involved, such as the Departments of Budget and Management, as well as the Interior and Local Government.
As redistricting entails a lot of budget, the Negros solon said the DBM and other government agencies will be consulted.
The 2020 Census of Population and Housing showed that Bacolod has a total population of 600,783.
One representative is needed for every 250,000 inhabitants to ensure that a city or a province is given proper and adequate representation in Congress.
The creation of another political district in Bacolod City was also supported by the City Council.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri also expressed support for the redistricting of Bacolod City, as he even announced his willingness to sponsor it in the Senate.*