“The 17 Aklan mayors (14 LP, 2 UNA and 1 NP) all endorsed the redistricting plan and are actively encouraging Aklanons to support the proposed division of this province into two legislative districts.”
by Ducky Paredes
The Province of Aklan, composed of 17 towns, has a 2007 Census population of 495,122 and reached a population of 522,179 in 2010.
Under Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, each congressional district created by Congress, must have a minimum population of at least 250,000. Aklan province has clearly reached the criteria for at least two congressional district. Its famous island, Boracay, also contributes P10 billion to the national coffers annually.
The Constitution also mandates the Lower House to reapportion legislative districts within three years following the return of every census. Since the Constitution was approved in plebiscite in 1987, no general apportionment law has been passed, despite the publication of four censuses in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2007.
Unlike the creation of local government units, which needs a plebiscite before taking effect, the reapportioning or redistricting needs only an act of congress and the President’s signature.
Once concurred in by the Senate, this becomes law with the signature of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Redistricting means, for the Province of Aklan, a larger share of national services and resources through the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and stronger representation in the Congress with two legislators.
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved House Bill 3860 on third and final reading.
Rep. Florencio Miraflores (Lone District, Aklan) filed the measure for the reapportionment last year.
The proposed legislative measure was endorsed to the Senate February 2, 2012 for deliberations by the Senate Committee on Local Government chaired by Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr.
Miraflores, a former three-term Aklan Governor and now in his third-term as congressman, is the chairperson of the committee on tourism, vice chairperson of the committee on accounts and member of the House committees on appropriations, energy, local government, ways and means, natural resources, science and technology.
The bill, which replaced House Bill 1006, was filed by Miraflores on December 12, 2010. The plenary approved on second reading the Committee Report No. 427 of the committee on local government chaired by Negros Oriental Rep. George Arnaiz on January 19, 2011.
The proposed re-districting of the lone district of Aklan was subsequently approved by members of the 15th Congress with 219 affirmative votes, no negative votes and no abstentions, during the plenary session on January 31, 2011.
In the Congress Journal No. 52 stated, “On successive motions of Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, there being no objection, the Body proceeded to the approval on Third Reading of the following House Bills, printed copies of which were distributed to the Members on January 24, 2011, pursuant to Section 58, Rule X of the Rules of the House, Item No.2, House Bill No. 3860, entitled: “An Act Providing for the Reapportionment of the Lone District of the Province of Aklan.”
The redistricting will take effect fifteen days following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
The 17 Aklan mayors (14 LP, 2 UNA and 1 NP) all endorsed the redistricting plan and are actively encouraging Aklanons to support the proposed division of this province into two legislative districts.
The creation of an additional district will further improve the growth of the province, particularly in agriculture and tourism, the priority industries of the local leaders.
Memo to present senators running for re-election or campaigning for a relative to get into the Senate: There are over 350,000 votes for the taking in Aklan. All you need to do is push the Senate to do its job. Re-electionist senators, who would vote against HB 1006, don’t even think of campaigning in the province.
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We have a reaction on a recent column: “I hope you are well. I read your article today re Cong. Colmenares’ claims about Malampaya and I would like to provide you with some facts about this”
“1. Malampaya has already remitted to govt $5.3bln since the start of the project in 2001 up to2011
“2. Govt has not given away the natural gas to SC38 as SC 38 are only service contractors (SC), the gas continues to be owned by the govt as this is provided for in the constitution.
“3. SC38 share is not 90% of revenues. It is only 40% with govt getting 60% (higher than the 30-40% that Cong. Colmenares wants)
“4. The term milking cow is used due to the cost recovery provision but this is a standard provision in international contracts for oil and gas. The costs are audited by the dept of energy and not all costs are allowed as cost recoverable.
“5. Pls note that while Malampaya is a successful field, before it was discovered, there were other holes drilled that were dry. The success rate for exploration hovers around 20-30%, i.e. for every 10 holes drilled, only about 2-3 will be successful. All the costs relating to the unsuccessful drilling are shouldered by the oil co., not govt. Drilling costs in deep water like Malampaya are also much higher than drilling in say, Saudi Arabia. So, many factors should be considered in determining whether the returns are reasonable or not and the terms and conditions must always be comparable to international norms to make the Philippines competitive in attracting investments.
“Trust above clarifies but please don’t hesitate to let us know if you need more info.”– Ed Chua, President, Shell Philippines.
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Thanks for the concern, Ed. Am pretty OK.
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hvp 06.24.12Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org