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House Hearing on Camarines Sur Partition Started

Naga City (June 8, 2011) - The Congressional Committee on Local Government, chaired by Congresssman George Arnaiz has started hearing and will continue deliberating this week a proposed bill to partition Camarines Sur by creating a new province, Nueva Camarines, out of 17 towns in the Partido and Rinconada districts.

As proposed the towns that shall be part of the new province are Caramoan, Garchitorena, Goa, Lagonoy, Presentacion, Sagñay, San Jose, Siruma, Tigaon and Tinambac in the Partido area and Rinconada towns that include Balatan, Bato, Nabua, Bula, Buhi, Baao and the component city, Iriga.

During the first hearing last last May 31, the proponent of the bill, Camarines Sur 4th district Congressman Arnulfo “Noli” Fuentabella, presented the salient features of the bill.

Camarines Sur Governor Luis Raymond Villafuerte who was present during the initial committee hearing had already registered his opposition to the bill together with 5th district Congressman Salvio Fortuno.

Fortuno noted during the congressional hearing that as the reprerentative of the Rinconada legislative district, he was not consulted by Fuentebella on the matter and he was not informed that the Rinconada towns were being proposed as part of the new provincial territory.

The three other Camarines Sur congressmen, Luis Villafuerte (3rd district); Dato Arroyo (2nd district) and Rolando Andaya Jr. (1st district) did not attend the initial proceedings.

Buhi Camarines Sur Mayor Rey Lacoste, president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Camarines Sur chapter also bared that more than 60% of the local governments of the 35 municipalities and one component city of the province have filed resolutions addressed to the congressional committee expressing their opposition to the division.

However Lacoste said that the mayor's league of Camarines Sur will not make a stand in deference to the resolutions that are expected to be filed by each municipality in the province.

The Congressional Committee on Local Government has summoned representatives of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur including the Provincial Treasurer’s Office to submit a financial report of the province for the last three years.

Other offices like the NSO, the Provincial Assessor, Land Management Bureau, and Bureau of Local Government Finance were also ordered to submit reports on the province's current statistics. (SONNY SALES)