BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL
The bill creating a new district in the province of Aklan is now for plenary debate in the 16th Congress. The House measure authored by Aklan solon Teodorico Haresco, Jr. finally passed the committee level, more than a year it was filed.
The Local Government committee, chaired by Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. (1st District, South Cotabato), approved House Bill No. 112 last February 12.
House Bill No. 112 provides for the reapportionment of the lone legislative district of the Province of Aklan.
Barely months before the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the May 2016 presidential and local elections, the measure should be approved by Congress and Senate this year.
If signed into a law by President Benigno Aquino III, the reapportionment of the district brings to two the number of legislative districts in the province.
The bill by then Aklan Rep. Florencio Miraflores was refiled by Haresco on July 7, 2013 after it was stalled in second reading in the Senate in 2012.
Under Section 5-3, Article 6 of the Constitution, a minimum population of 250,000 is required for a local government unit (LGU) or clusters of LGUs to be declared a congressional district. Each district should be composed of a “contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory.”
Aklan has a total population of 535,725 based on the 2010 census of population and housing issued by the National Statistics Office.
The municipalities of Kalibo, New Washington, Altavas, Batan, Balete, Madalag, Libacao and Banga will comprise the First Legislative District.
The Second Legislative District will be composed of the towns of Malay, Buruanga, Ibajay, Nabas, Lezo, Malinao, Numancia, Makato and Tangalan.
Last February 10, the Government Enterprises and Privatization joint with Transportation (Technical Working Group) also approved House Bill No. 113 in style creating the Aklan Airport Authority.
The technical working group (TWG) was co-presided by Rep. Jesus Sacdalan (1st District, North Cotabato), chair of the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization and Rep. Al Francis Bichara (2nd District, Albay), Vice Chair of the Committee on Transportation.
They referred the bill authored by Haresco to the Committees on Appropriations and Ways and Means for the consideration of the bill’s appropriations and tax provisions.