Solon’s bill bats for lone GenSan legislative district separate from South Cotabato

Published January 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

South Cotabato 1st district Rep. Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles wants to separate General Santos City from the first legislative district of the province of South Cotabato to constitute the lone legislative district of General Santos City.

House of the Representatives (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)
House of the Representatives (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)

The vice chairperson of the House committee on people participation filed House Bill (HB) No. 5774 seeking to amend Republic Act (RA) No. 11243, which reapportioned the first legislative district of the province of South Cotabato and created the lone legislative district of General Santos City as the third legislative district of the province of South Cotabato.

RA 11243 was approved by President Duterte on March 11, 2019.

“While the intent of Republic Act No. 11243, which was deliberated upon and approved by the 17th Congress, was to create the lone legislative district of General Santos City, its letters needs to be aligned with existing laws to avoid ambiguity and confusion,” Bañas-Nograles said in her bill’s explanatory note.

She said Section 103 of RA 5412, otherwise known as the Charter of the City of General Santos, expressly provides that the voters of General Santos City shall not be qualified and entitled to vote in the elections for provincial officials of the province of South Cotabato. RA 5412 took effect on June 15, 1968.

“Additionally, General Santos City was classified as and became a highly urbanized city way back on Sept. 5, 1988. Thus the city is completely independent from the province of South Cotabato from fiscal, administrative, political, and legal standpoints,” Bañas-Nograles said.

HB 5774 provides that the City of General Santos City is separated from the first legislative district of the province of South Cotabato to constitute the lone legislative district of the City of General Santos, to commence in the next national elections after the effectivity of the proposed act.

Under the bill, the incumbent representative of the first legislative district of South Cotabato shall continue to represent General Santos City until the new representative of the lone legislative district of General Santos City shall have been elected and qualified.

HB 5774 tasks the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to issue the necessary rules and regulations to implement the proposed act within 30 days after its effectivity. The proposed act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

 

 
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