Redistricting a City

LOGICAL it may seem a proposal of Caloocan City Rep. Oca Malapitan to reapportion his own congressional district into three citing the growth in population over the years that largely affects the much-needed benefits for the residents given the allotted P70-million in Community Development Fund (CDF) or aptly known as pork barrel for each year.

Such amount only suits for a district with a total population of 250, 000 as stated under the existing laws, way beyond Malapitan’s turf which has over 1-M residents as culled from the latest National Statistics Office census. Hence, he files House Bill No. 2693 primarily designed at adding more congressional districts and at the same time calling for additional seats in the Sangguniang Panlunsod.

In his proposed redistricting, Malapitan based his assertion from the 2007 NSO census which showed that the city has a total population of 1, 378, 856 of which 984, 530 are from the First District.

However, in a latest NSO record from the city planning office, Caloocan has a total population of 1, 503, 075. Of the figure, District 1 has 1, 077, 798 while District 2, 425, 277.

Well, if indeed the objective is to enhance the delivery of basic services to the city folks whose number has reached to over 1.5-million, 2nd District Rep. Mitch Cajayon’s proposition would be more plausible as it deserves consideration since the former Binibining Caloocan wants not two but three more congressional districts, making it five all-in-all.

Cajayon however says: “Let me clarify that I am not against to any plan to reapportion the city’s District 1 but based on my study, if there’s proposal for the purpose it would be better if it is reapportioned into four not only three because anyway it can meet the population requirement per district.” She adds: “And if the Constitution has set a parameter that requires a city or province with a population of at least 250, 000 to be able to have a congressional district, then Caloocan is, without a doubt, qualified to have at least five districts.”

If Malapitan’s proposal would find its way, the current 12 seats at the city council will be doubled.

However, if Cajayon’s plan would be considered, there would be a total of 30 council seats since she’s pushing for additional three congressional districts on top of the existing two.

Malapitan has cited the need to reapportion the city’s legislative district in order to attain a more reasonable representation of the people in Congress and at the city council.

Local political observers say the proposals of the two Caloocan legislators are timely as they believe about the need to reapportion the districts in the interest of its people and the city as well.

But they don’t want to be cynical on claims that the real intention is mere political accommodation, they hope it’s not.

Both Cajayon and Malapitan have been touted as top mayoral bets by 2013 as Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri is already on his third and last term.

Youth and Students vs Drug-Abuse.

As the nation observes the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week, the city of Navotas has rallied the support of the youth and students whom Mayor John Rey Tiangco urges to be in the forefront to ensure success in the relentless campaign against drug use.

Tiangco says the local government’s call for united action from all sectors particularly the youth and students was made as it is spearheads several week-long activities to boost the anti-drug drive which has its theme: “Think Health…Not Drugs!

He likewise cites the need to curb drug abuse and the importance of increasing the level of awareness on the evils of drugs among local residents, especially the youth, and of encouraging the involvement of everyone in the campaign against illegal drugs.

Presidential Proclamation No. 124, dated November 26, 2001 has declared the second or third week of November of every year as Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week to promote public awareness against the evil effects of illegal drug use as well as encourage public cooperation in the government’s anti-drug campaign. Arlie Calalo

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