By Ben Rosario
The fast-growing municipalities of Rodriguez and San Mateo will become separate and independent congressional districts under a bill passed on third and final reading by the House of Representatives on Monday.
Voting 218 in the affirmative with no negative and abstention votes, the Lower House passed House Bill 6222 proposing to reapportion the second legislative district of Rizal into three separate congressional areas.
Authored by Rizal Reps. Roberto Puno, Resurreccion Acop, Juan Fidel Nograles and John Michael Duavit, HB 6222 will retain as part of the second distirct the municipalities of Cardona, Baras, Tanay, Morong, Jala-Jala, Pililia and Teresa.
San Mateo and Rodriguez will be designated as the third and fourth district of Rizal, respectively.
With the creation of two new districts, Rizal will soon be comprised of six political divisions.
Prior to the creation of Metro Manila, Rizal’s second district was among the largest in the country as it included Quezon City, Marikina and Pasig which are now part of the National Capital Region.
Antipolo City was also a part of the second district. It is now a separate legislative district in Rizal.
Nograles, principal author of the bill, is the congressman currently representing the second district.
Authors of the measure said the reapportionment of Rizal has become important in order to ensure equitable representation in the legislature and the national government of residents of the province.
“Over the years, the population of the second legislative district of Rizal has increased almost exponentially,” noted Nograles.
He stressed that the birth of new legislative districts has become “crucial to achieving proper and effective representation in Congress.”
Nograles also pointed out that the separation of the seven eastern towns of Baras, Cardona, Jala-Jala, Moroong, Pililia, Tanay and Teresa is borne out of the fact that these localities are non-contiguous to San Mateo and Rodriguez, formely Montalban.
According to Nograles San Mateo has become “distinctively metropolitan in nature, sharing the urban growth of Manila.”
On the other hand, a large portion of Rodriguez is dominated by mountains and slopes, making the locality “ideal for agricultural purposes.”
“At the end of the day, redistricting will afford the constituents of the district with proper and effective representation in the House of Representatives to meet their respective and distinct needs and requirements,” said Nograles.