As proposed by Rep. Libanan

The province of Eastern Samar may yet have two congressional seats if a proposed measure at the House of Representatives splitting the current lone congressional district into two will be approved. Photo shows the provincial capital of Borongan City.

TACLOBAN CITY- A bill seeking to split into two the lone congressional district in Eastern Samar is now pending in the House of Representatives.

Having two congressional districts would mean better service and more projects for the province, says measure proponent Rep. Marcelino Libanan of the 4Ps party-list group.
Libanan, who served the province as its lone congressional representative from 1998 to 2007, said that by having two congressional districts which means having two representatives at the Lower House, development in the two areas will be faster and will result to an ‘improved services’ for the constituents.

Libanan, who is the House’ minority floor leader, also said that of the three Samar provinces, only Eastern Samar has a lone congressional representative.

At present, the province is represented in Congress by Rep. Maria Fe Abunda who is now on her second term.

“The continuous rise in its population has placed an enormous strain on the lone congressional district office’s capacity and capability to serve the needs of its constituents,” Libanan, in his explanatory note said.

“Thus, the need for an additional representation must be addressed,” the congressman added.

Based on his proposed measure as contained under House Bill 3647, Eastern Samar will be apportioned into two congressional districts.

The first congressional district will be composed of the provincial capital of Borongan City and the municipalities of Arteche, Can-avid, Dolores, Jipapad, Maslog, Oras, San Julian, San Policarpo, Sulat, and Taft with a total population of 270,691.

Meantime, the second congressional district will include the towns of Balangiga, Balangkayan, Gen. MacArthur, Giporlos, Guiuan, Hernani, Lawaan, Llorente, Maydolong, Mercedes, Quinapondan and Salcedo which has a combined population of about 206,477.
Also under the proposed measure of Libanan, who was once the vice governor of the province, the election for the two new congressmen of the province will take place on the next national and local elections after the measure become effective.

The incumbent congressional representative will serve on a ‘holdover capacity’ until the new two congressional representatives are elected.

At present, Eastern Visayas of which Eastern Samar is part has 13 congressional representatives led by Leyte Rep. and House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and four party-list congressmen, two from Tingog Sinirangan, and one each from An Waray and 4Ps of Libanan.