MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – From its current two districts, the province of Palawan might soon give rise to one more district.
President Benigno Aquino III has signed Republic Act 10171, which reapportions Palawan and creates a 3rd congressional district. This new district will cover Puerto Princesa City and Aborlan municipality, both currently under the second district of the province.
The proposal for this new district in the province was originally proposed by Palawan 2nd district representative Dennis Socrates though House Bill 5608.
The proposal was approved after it met all the requirements prescribed under the Local Government Code of 1991. This law requires a district to have a population of at least 250,000.
Based on the 2010 census, Puerto Princesa City has 222,673 residents while Aborlan has 32,209 residents, giving a total population of 254,882. The 7 municipalities that will remain in district two, on the other hand, have a total population of 353,865.
Puerto City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, a proponent of the proposal, expressed his gratitude for the president’s approval, saying that creating a new district will be beneficial for his city.
“It will make us act faster on our projects, especially those concerning tourism and environment, because the congressman for the third district only has to look after Puerto Princesa City and Aborlan,” he said.
Puerto Princesa City was declared in 2007 as a highly-urbanized city, wherein residents do not vote for provincial officials.
“The reapportionment of Palawan is based on the principle of equality of representation, which means that larger provinces or representative districts should be entitled to more representatives in Congress,” said Senator Ferdinand Marcos, head of the Senate Committee on Local Governments.