S. Cotabato provincial board proposes two legislative districts plus separate district for GenSan

Posted on January 15, 2011

KORONADAL CITY -- A resolution to establish two legislative districts in the province of South Cotabato and create a lone district for General Santos City was passed by the provincial board, an official said. The province currently has two districts, with Gen. Santos City included in the first district.

Jose M. Madanguit, vice-chairman of the committee on justice and legal matters of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, said Resolution 05 of 2011 has been approved by the board and will be sent to the House of Representatives as a request for the re-apportioning of the province’s legislative districts.

"General Santos City has long been qualified to become a lone district, it’s just time to give other municipalities their chance to have appropriations intended just for them," said Mr. Madanguit.

Currently, General Santos City is in the first legislative district along with Tupi, Tampakan and Polomolok towns.

"Income and population-wise, the said three towns can already qualify as a district. It will be an advantage for them to get a separate development fund," the board member said.

Should the proposal succeed, the province will be divided into two legislative districts and General Santos City will become a district of its own.

Pomolok and Tupi towns are home to Dole Philippines’ 12,000-hectare pineapple plantation while Tampakan has the large-scale copper and gold mining project of Sagittarius Mines Inc.-Xstrata. The resolution suggests grouping this town, Tantangan, Surallah, Banga, Lake Sebu, T’boli and Norala into the second district.

But Mr Madanguit said that the provincial board will also discuss including T’boli in the first district as it is adjacent to Polomolok. If approved, this proposal will balance the two districts in terms of size of land area.

First district representative Pedro A. Acharon, Jr. could not be contacted on Friday to comment on the proposal but reports say that he supports the move.

General Santos, 60 kilometers south of Koronadal, is an agro-industrial city and has been dubbed as the "Boom Town City of the South." It is home to seven tuna canning factories and a 32-hectare fish port complex. It is also known as the "Tuna Capital of the Philippines." -- Louie O. Pacardo