GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 March) – The city government expects more developments in the city in the coming years, with the approval by President Rodrigo R. Duterte of the law that created a separate congressional district for the area.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Friday the move mainly complements with the efforts of the local government and stakeholders to transform the area into one of the country’s premiere cities.
The President signed last March 11 Republic Act (RA) 11243, which reapportioned the first district of South Cotabato and established a lone legislative district for the city.
“This is another milestone in the long and colorful history of this city that we should cherish. The people of this city has long been asking for this change to come and now it is finally here,” the mayor said in a statement.
With the city now a lone congressional district, Rivera said it will have a better representation in the national government.
He urged residents “to take part in this historic change in the city” as it moves forward with the plans to establish the area as the “economic beacon of South Cotabato.”
“This is the perfect time where we can fully utilize all of our resources to ensure that GenSan will become a premier city of the country,” Rivera said.
He lauded Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao and South Cotabato first district Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. for pursuing the passage of RA 11243 in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The city is currently part of the first legislative district of South Cotabato, along with the municipalities of Tampakan, Polomolok and Tupi.
Under the new law, the city will become the third legislative district of the province while the three remaining towns will constitute the first district.
In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said the creation of the new legislative district is a huge boost for the province in terms of development.
She said the three municipalities in the first district will now have its own congressional allocation for development projects.
“While GenSan will become a lone district, it will still remain as a third district of South Cotabato. That’s good for us because it means that its population and area will not be carved out of the province as part of the IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) consideration,” she said.
Fuentes said the coming May 13 elections will be crucial as residents under the present first district will be voting for the “caretaker” of the two legislative areas as set in RA 11243.
“Whoever wins as representative of the first district will have three years to manage the congressional allocation for two districts,” she added. (MindaNews)