DAVAO CITY, Philippines — City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is set to approve the declaration of a new congressional district, a city councilor reported.
“I’ve not seen the specifics but I am very sure that it is the combination of the first and the second district,” Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang said, at the Kapehan sa Dabaw press conference yesterday.
According to Dayanghirang, the proposed additional district will be a combination of the first and the second districts. This is based on the study by the City Planning Office on the city’s population and the districts contribution to the city.
Specifically, Dayanghirang said a portion of the Poblacion area might be merged with Agdao and Buhangin.
He added that the mayor will send the endorsement to the City Council and the City Council will endorse it to Congress.
“I saw the draft, but I expect the official endorsement (of) the mayor. I have not received it yet. Once we do, the Council will discuss it,” he added.
Dayanghirang also said that they are looking forward to a thorough discussion of the proposal, especially among the congressmen whose districts will probably be affected.
“I am very sure that the affected congressmen will have a say (of) whether to accept the proposal of the executive department (or not), because we will have a a policy program of the city to be sent to Manila for appropriate legislative action,” he said.
Dayanghirang added that this has long been overdue.
“We are qualified to (have) five to six districts. The requirement of the law is (for each city to have) 250,000 inhabitants (in order to have one representative). Our current population is approximately 1.3 million, so we can go up to six. But the mayor opted for the minimum considering also the possible expenditures,” he said.
Dayanghirang added that the number of the councilors per district may be reduced.
“As of date, we have eight per district, (but) it may go down to six. The issue here is who will pay the councilors for the maintenance operations including their salaries,” Dayanghirang said.
“So, if we add another district, it will reduce the budget of the City but it will add (to the budget) in terms of the pork barrel from the congressman which is around P200 million,” he added.
Dayanghirang also said the “from the viewpoint of economics,…it will be better to retain the number of councilors but add one district.”