COTABATO CITY – A measure that seeks to divide the Bangsamoro Region’s Special Geographic Area into two parliamentary districts has been filed by Bangsamoro lawmakers on the last day of session before its mandatory adjournment.
Member of the Parliament Mohammad Kelie Antao, the principal author of Parliament Bill No. 122, has proposed splitting the SGA into two districts, with separate representatives for each.
The SGA is composed of the 63 barangays in North Cotabato that voted yes in the 2019 plebiscite to become part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
MP Antao explained that the creation of two parliamentary districts in the SGA is essential as it will provide constituents with representatives who will advocate for them before the legislative body.
Parliamentary district seats are defined in the recently approved Bangsamoro Electoral Code as seats in the Parliament for those elected under a registered regional political party or coalition using a proportional representation system.
The Bangsamoro Organic Law states that the Parliament may undertake new redistricting by law to ensure more equitable representation of constituencies in the Parliament.
Redistricting, merging, or creating parliamentary districts will be based on the number of inhabitants and additional provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas that will become part of the Bangsamoro territorial jurisdiction.
Under PB No. 122, the first parliamentary district will be composed of 33 barangays with a cumulative population of 103,233 and an annual income of P120.66 million.
The 33 barangays are Balacayon, Buricain, Datu Binasing, Datu Mantil, Kadingilan, Lower Pangangkalan, Libungan Torreta, Matilac, Patot, Upper Pangangkalan, Lower Baguer, Simsiman, Central Labas, Kapinpilan, Malingao, Mudseng, Sambulawan, Tugal, Tumbras, Damatulan, Kadigasan, Kadingilan, Kudarangan, Nabalawag, Olandang, Macasandeg, Dungguan, Bagoinged, Barungis, Bulol, Buliok, Gli-Gli, Kabasalan, and Rajamuda.
Meanwhile, the barangays of Bualan, Lagunde, Panicupan, Manaulanan, Balong, Pamalian, Makabual, Tapodoc, Balongis, Batulawan, Fort Pikit, Gukotan, Nabundas, Nunguan, Nalapaan, Kibayao, Kitulaan, Langogan, Manarapan, Nasapian, Pebpoloan, Tupig, Buluan, Nangaan, Pedtad, Sanggadong, Simone, Simbuhay, and Tamped will comprise the 29 barangays in the SGA second parliamentary district.
The second parliamentary district has a total land area of 515 square kilometers, a combined population of 112,210, and an annual income of P125.17 million.
Antao said that the proposed bill’s passage would hasten the region’s social and economic growth.
According to the Bangsamoro electoral code, parliamentary districts are apportioned based on population and geographical area for redistricting purposes, provided that each district includes, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territorial jurisdiction and has a population of at least 100,000 people.
Along with Antao, the proposed bill is introduced by MPs Mohagher Iqbal, Atty. Lanang Ali, Jr., and Engr. Aida Silongan. (LTAIS- Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)