Baronda revives redistricting bill

Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

ILOILO CITY Lone district Rep. Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda re-filed the bill that seeks to divide Iloilo City into two legislative districts.

In an interview on Wednesday, Baronda said she re-filed the bill initially pushed by then congressman and now Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.

“We re-filed a bill nga ginpass sang aton mayor sa 17th Congress. We are just waiting for the hearings on the committee level by the committee on local government,” she said.

According to Baronda, House Bill 3074 (An Act Reapportioning the Lone Legislative District and the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Iloilo) will pave the way for more opportunities for the city.

“I believe qualified man ang Iloilo City to have two representatives meaning kung duha, better opportunities, mas advantageous when it comes to projects, and two is better than one,” she said.

Baronda said she is confident that the Iloilo City has complied with all the requirements for the creation of the new legislative district.

“In 2015, we are already 445,000 I believe na subong siguro around 500,000 na. But I think we are qualified like in Marikina and Makati, they have two districts,” she added.

Treñas filed House Bills 1219 and 3474 in the hopes of splitting Iloilo City into two districts but it failed to hurdle the 15th and 17th Congresses, respectively.

But this time, Baronda said she is optimistic that her bill will be passed.

“I believed it was passed on the third reading sa House of Representatives. Siguro ang reason lang nga wala siya na-approve because of the priorities of the House and Senate and at the same time kulang guro sa panahon. Now, I am very optimistic because as a member of the committee on rules there is no reason nga may nakit-an nga problema sa House. When it comes to the House, we have the support of the House Speaker and the members of the Congress,” she said.

The congresswoman also appealed to the Ilonggo community who are not in favor of the bill to give her a chance.

Una sa tanan, ga-appeal ko sa mga Ilonggo please give me the chance to decide whether this is important or not for the city and Ilonggos. After all, ang mga nakabenepisyo diri ang mga residente sang siyudad sang Iloilo,” she said.

Treñas said he has no qualms with the revival of his proposed bill.

“It’s about the time, we have been qualified for already. It’s about time we get more representation,” he emphasized.

Under Baronda’s proposal, Iloilo City will be divided into the First District (Jaro, La Paz and Mandurriao) and the Second District (Arevalo, City Proper, Lapuz, and Molo).