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‘2nd congressional district for Bacolod by 2022 dead’

The creation of a second congressional district for Bacolod City in time for the May 2022 elections is no longer possible, is dead, Councilor Al Victor Espino said Monday, June 28.

House Bill No. 566 and House Bill No. 537 filed by Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya and Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano in the 18th Congress seeking the creation of the second congressional district are pending before the House Committee on Local Government.

Espino, who had hoped that they would be passed into law, said there is no more time to do it now with the polls fast approaching.

He wanted a second congressional district for Bacolod City for economic reasons and not for political accommodation of anybody, Espino said.

This is because the Internal Revenue Allotment of Local Government Units is computed three years prior to its release, and by 2023 we expect a 30 percent IRA reduction, he said.

The 30 percent reduction is a conservative estimate of the Department of Budget and Management because the amount will depend on government revenue from 2020 that dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, Espino said.

A second congressional district would mean added income for Bacolod City with about P1 billion per district, which would soften the blow of the expected IRA reduction of about P300 million, he said.*

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