Belmonte: Local bills spell significant countryside dev’t

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LIVING up to its constitutional mandate, education dominated the local bills passed at the House of Representatives during the 15th Congress, from July 2010 to December 2012.

“Focusing on human resource development, among others, is being true to our mandate as representatives of the people,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said.

Of the 150 local measures signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III within this three-year period, 39 mandates the establishment of new national high schools all over the country, two (2) elementary schools, three (3) integrated schools and a national technical-vocational high school.

To promote educational accessibility to the country’s youth, about 64 separate local statutes caused the separation of schools from mother institutions to effect long-term economy, efficiency in administrative management and wider coverage.

The second regular session, according to records of the Committee on Rules chaired by Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, saw the birth of five new component cities — Bacoor, Cavite; Imus, Cavite; Cabuyao, Laguna; Mabalacat, Pampanga; and Ilagan, Isabela.

Also signed into law was the reapportioning of the 2nd District of Quezon City, thereby creating two additional districts and 12 Sangguniang Panlungsod seats, as well as the re-apportioning of the Province of Palawan into three legislative districts.

During the 3rd regular session, the Province of Cotabato was re-apportioned into three legislative districts, like that of the Province of Bukidnon which was re-apportioned into four legislative districts.

The new high schools have either risen or are about to in municipalities in the provinces of Iloilo, Sorsogon, Bulacan, Aurora Davao Oriental, Mountain Province, Zamboanga del Sur, Batangas, Leyte, Zamboanga del Norte, Marikina (Metro Manila), Nueva Vizcaya, Davao Oriental, Camiguin, Camarines Sur, and Southern Leyte.

An elementary school will rise in Capiz and Mandaluyong City, while an integrated school will be established in Mandaluyong City and two similar institutions in Sorsogon City.

To answer the ever-growing medical needs in the metropolis, there is the local measure increasing the bed capacity of the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City from 350 to 500.

To further give better services to the transport sector, local laws were enacted converting the Land Transportation Office extension offices — in The Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte; in the City of Dasmarinas, Cavite; in Tubod Lanao del Norte; and in Quirino, Luna, Apayao — into regular LTO district offices.

Still awaiting the President’s signature are numerous other local and national measures that rhyme into the national government’s development programs.

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