Senate approves bill to create 7th district in Cebu

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Cebu (CNN Philippines) — Cebu will get another district after the Senate approved Tuesday (July 28) House Bill No. 4427, which creates the 7th Legislative District of the province.

The measure was approved on third reading with a 13-0 vote, according to The Freeman newspaper. Those who voted for the approval of the measure were senators Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, Allan Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, JV Ejercito, Gringo Honasan, Lito Lapid, Bongbong Marcos, Koko Pimentel, Tito Sotto III, Cynthia Villar and Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla were not able to vote because they were under detention while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago was on sick leave. The other senators were absent.

House Bill No. 4427 was authored at the House of Representatives by Cebu representatives Wilfredo Caminero (2nd District), Benhur Salimbangon (4th District), Aileen Radaza (Lapu-Lapu City Lone District) and Gwendolyn Garcia (3rd District).

It was Senator Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, who sponsored the measure at the Senate.

Marcos believes that the creation of a new legislative district will boost the development efforts not only in the said area but in the whole province.

The proposed Seventh Legislative District shall be composed of the municipalities of Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, Badian, Alegria, Malabuyoc and Ginatilan.

The proposed new district has a population of 200,092 based on the 2010 census of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The municipalities of Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander and Samboan shall continue to comprise the Second Legislative District of the province. These municipalities have a combined population of 223,360 also based on the 2010 census.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III welcomed the development saying he himself had always pushed for the splitting of the second district since it's a big one with 15 municipalities. He is hoping that President Aquino will approve of the new measure.

Representative Caminero said the creation of the seventh district is a fulfillment of a dream that will fast-track the development of Cebu.

Davide and Caminero both hail from Argao town of the second district and are allies of Aquino in the Liberal Party.

The province of Cebu currently has six legislative districts and is ranked as the fifth most populated province of the country with a population of 2,619,362 based on the 2010 census.