Senate approves bill dividing 2nd district of Rizal

Human Rights

With 23 affirmative votes, zero negative, and zero abstention, the Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill reapportioning the second district of Rizal into three legislative districts.

The House Bill No. 6222 aims to retain part of the second district of Rizal, composed of the municipalities of Cardona, Baras, Tanay, Morong, Jalajala, Pililla, and Teresa, and establish the municipality of San Mateo as the third congressional district; and the municipality of Rodriguez as the fourth legislative district of the province.

Senator Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Committee on Local Government and sponsor of the bill, said that with this measure, he is hoping that the proper representation will help the local government units involved to better respond to the needs of the people and also help facilitate in the long-term rehabilitation and the capacity building efforts of the province following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The call for apportionment is not only based on today’s realities but also a resounding echo from the past, recognizing the unique histories of the towns which have molded and shaped the growth and character of the localities and the residents therein,” he added.

Tolentino said the qualifications for the reapportionment have been met given that the new 2nd district has a population of 449,103; San Mateo (3rd district) has a population of 252,527, and Rodriguez (4th district) has a population of 369,222.

According to Article VI, Section 5 of the Constitution each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory; and a locality with at least 250,000 residents is entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives.

During the consideration of the bill on second reading, Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, and Senators Pia Cayetano, Win Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo Lacson, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and Joel Villanueva, requested to be made co-sponsors of the bill.

The House of Representatives passed the same measure on June 1, 2020.