A PARTY-LIST congressman has filed a bill seeking to divide Eastern Samar province into two congressional districts.

House Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino “Nonoy” Libanan filed House Bill 3647 splitting Eastern Samar into two congressional districts for bigger representation in the legislature and increase funds for projects in the province.

“Since its creation, the Province of Eastern Samar has only a Lone Congressional District. But its population has nearly doubled since its creation,” Libanan said.

“The continuous rise in its population has placed an enormous strain on the Lone Congressional District’s Office’s capacity and capability to serve the needs of its constituents,” he added.

Based on the 2020 Census, Eastern Samar has a population of 477,168. Libanan said that based on the population growth rate of the province, this is inspected to increase to balloon to over a half a million this year.

He said the constitution requires a population of at least 250,000 in contiguous municipalities to be able to have its own congressman.

He said that once the bill is approved, the province will be represented by two congressmen and the two congressional district offices “can adequately enhance the representation for and improve the services to its constituents.”

Under his measure, the first district will be composed of Borongan City and the municipalities of Arteche, Can-avid, Dolores, Jipapad, Maslog, Oras, San Julian, San Policarpio, Sulat and Taft. Meanwhile, the second legislative district will have 12 municipalities – Balangiga, Balangkayan, Gen. MacArthur, Giporlos, Guiuan, Hernani, Lawaan, Llorente, Maydolong, Mercedes, Quinapondan and Salcedo. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail September 26-October 2, 2022 issue)