By Ellson Quismorio
Rizal 2nd district Rep. Fidel Nograles is enjoying massive local support for his proposal to split Rizal’s second legislative district into three separate districts, prospectively giving the province two more legislators on top of the current four.
This, as Nograles expressed confidence that similar support would spread in the House of Representatives among his fellow lawmakers.
“I am confident that my colleagues in the House will recognize the needs of my constituents and support this effort to give the people of Rizal a greater voice in the legislature,” he said, referring to House Bill (HB) No. 336.
If enacted, the measure would divide Nograles’s own district––composed of the municipalities of Baras, Cardona, Jala-Jala, Morong, Pililla, Rodriguez (Montalban), San Mateo, Tanay and Teresa––into three separate legislative districts.
Nograles said he was committed to get the people of Rizal “the kind of representation they deserve in Congress.”
Expressing their support for the measure were the provincial government and the 14 mayors of Rizal.
Last week, Rizal Governor Rebecca Ynares said that “there is a consensus among Rizal officials that such a measure is long overdue given the growth of Rizal’s population.”
“This is why all of us in the provincial capitol––including Vice Governor [Reynaldo] San Juan and all of Rizal’s provincial board members––and all the mayors in the province support the passage of HB 336,” said Ynares.
San Juan likewise endorsed the bill, saying that adding legislative districts would allow Rizal solons to better serve their constituents.
“Rep. Nograles has to serve a little more than one million constituents as the second district alone has over half the entire population of Rizal. More representation in Congress means more legislators to serve the people of Rizal,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez (Montalban) Mayor Dennis Hernandez pointed out that his municipality was the second most populous local government unit in Rizal, with 369,222 residents.
“There are provinces in the country with smaller populations that are represented in Congress. Tingin namin fair lang na bigyan kami ng tama at sapat na representasyon (I think it’s just fair to give us proper and ample representation),” added Hernandez.
Under the measure, the towns of Cardona, Baras, Tanay, Morong Jala Jala, Pililia, and Teresa will be retained in the second district, while the towns of San Mateo and Rodriguez will have their own districts–the third legislative district and fourth legislative district, respectively.