Senate committee passes bill to split Camarines Sur

MANILA, Philippines (Aug 26, 2012) - The Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revisions of codes and laws has endorsed the plenary discussion of the bill calling for the creation of a new province called Nueva Camarines out of Camarines Sur.

A committee report on the bill was submitted last Aug. 16 and posted on the Senate website. It proposed 242 amendments, and was signed by Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Edgardo Angara, Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Manuel Lapid, Senate Presidente Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada and Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III.

 House Bill 4820, which was passed by the House of Representatives in August last year with a vote of 229-1, was referred to the Senate committee on local government chaired by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the primary committee.

The bill has become a political issue with Nacionalista Party (NP) senators taking a stand against the measure in support of one of its members, Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymond Villafuerte Jr.

Marcos, along with Senators Pia Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Manuel Villar Jr. are members of the NP.

Marcos admitted that there was pressure on him to act on the bill while another senator denounced alleged attempts to railroad the measure.