The move to separate General Santos City from the first legislative district of South Cotabato and make it a lone congressional district has gained support from GenSan City officials.
Gensan Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles on Wednesday said the city government is fully supporting the
passage of House Bill (HB) 4678, which South Cotabato Ist district congressman Pedro Acharon Jr. filed last December.
As the bill was referred by the House Committee on Rules to the committee on local government, there was a call to expedite the marathon hearing on the matter earlier this month.
Nograles, city councilor Franklin Gacal Jr. and GenSan Sangguniang Panlunsod secretary Rosendo Roque represented GenSan in the hearings.
According to Nograles, this would be the proper time to separate GenSan from the first legislative district in South Cotabato for it to become a lone district with a separate representation at the House of Representatives.
“Based on the record of the city population census of 2000, GenSan already has about 412,000 registered voters. This exceeds the constitutional requirement of 250,000 voters to become one separate lone district,” she said.
The city’s population office census showed that the total population of the city has already reached 594,000.
Article 6, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution provides that “within three years following the return of every census, Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts” based on standard provisions of the law as provided.
“For over 21 years, the city council has passed numerous resolutions requesting Congress to pass a law for the creation of a lone district for the city,” Nograles said.
At present, South Cotabato’s first district comprises GenSan and the municipalities of Tupi, Tampakan and Polomolok.
The second district of South Cotabato is composed of Koronadal City and the municipalities of Tantangan, Banga, T’boli, Surallah, Santo Niño, Norala and Lake Sebu.
Under HB 4678, Acharon is pushing for the reconfiguration of the current composition of South Cotabato’s first and second congressional districts.
Acharon, a former mayor of GenSan, said with the separation of the city, the towns of Polomolok, Tupi and Tampakan will comprise the first district.