“The move to divide Bacolod City into two districts is not a new idea, in fact it is long overdue,” Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday in reaction to allegations that it is intended to accommodate the political interest of some politicians.
Leonardia said the idea came up way back during the incumbency of the late Bacolod Mayor Romeo Guanzon.
He said he believes the purpose of Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. in filing the bill for it is to accelerate progress.
“This is a question of making Bacolod City more progressive. And when you talk of the growth, progress and development of the city that is something we should never postpone,” he said.
The members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the congressman, mayor, vice mayor and 60 barangay captains of Bacolod City are for the redistricting of the city, Leonardia said.
Earlier, 60 of the 61 barangay captains in Bacolod City signed a manifesto supporting the move to divide the city into two districts.
In their manifesto, the 60 barangays captains said they express their full and unequivocal support to the move of apportioning the City of Bacolod into two districts as provided in House Bill No. 2999 and that they will continue to support the Bill until its approval by the Senate where it is now pending.
Only Barangay Captain Anthony Jose Ayco of Barangay 15 did not sign the manifesto saying he believes it is unconstitutional.
Leonardia recalled that Ayco had signed an endorsement for the redistricting of Bacolod when he was still allied with Golez.
Redistricting is not a creation of a new local government unit so it does not need a referendum, he said, citing the case of Marikina.
The Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also affirmed its support for the redistricting of Bacolod into two legislative districts, at an MBCCI special meeting Saturday.
With two legislative districts in the city, each representative will be able to focus on addressing the concerns of the right number of constituents of a smaller geographical area, the MBCCI said.
Bacolod will thus have an additional representation in the House of Representatives, double its share in national developmental projects, and will have more funds channeled through legislative districts, the MBCCI resolution said.*CGS