Cong. Julienne Baronda filed House Bill 3074 which aims to divide Iloilo City into two congressional districts.

Baronda said the bill is the repetition of previous bills filed by her predecessor, now Iloilo Mayor Jerry Treñas in the 15th and 16th congresses.

 “Having two congressional districts is more advantageous to the city when it comes to projects,” said Baronda.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Local Government.

Under the bill, Jaro, La Paz and Mandurriao would be one congressional district while the other legislative district would be constituted of the City Proper, Molo, Arevalo and Lapuz.

The bill also appeals to change the composition of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. It would have 16 members – eight from each of the two new legislative districts.

Baronda is very confident that the bill will be approved this 18th Congress.

The 2015 census revealed that Iloilo City has a population of 447,992. Baronda stated that this time, the population would have reached to 500,000.  A congressional district needs to have at least a population of 250,000.

However, Baronda said a Supreme Court decision allowed a city “does not have to increase its population by another 250,000 to be entitled to an additional district.”

She added that Marikina City was granted two legislative districts even though the city’s population was only 424,150.

Co-authors of House Bill 3074 are Iloilo 5th District’s Cong. Raul Tupas, Iloilo 2nd District’s Cong. Michael Gorriceta and Abang Lingkod party-list’s Cong. Joseph Stephen Paduano.  (RJ Espartinez)