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Pasigueños seeking fair representation

01:34 AM August 18, 2015

WE ARE writing this in reaction to the article titled “Solon thumbs down ‘3-district’ Pasig” (Metro, 7/25/15).

Rep. Roman Romulo’s reason for his opposition to the creation of two additional congressional districts in Pasig, is that “it will not resolve the bigger problem of migration… what we need to do actively is for national funds to be poured into the provinces…”

The congressman’s reason is purely economic, and it is too “macro” for a purely “parochial” issue. But aside from the economic factors, the proposal of the Pasig 3 District Movement for additional congressional districts is based on other considerations: better governance, commensurate representation and democratization/people empowerment.

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Unfortunately, Romulo did not address these issues.

In a broader sense, the development of both our urban and rural areas—and of the entire nation, for that matter—is every Filipino’s responsibility. Regarding the development of the provinces, this responsibility rests primarily on the local government units, institutions and private sector in the provinces. The national leadership—headed by the president, his Cabinet secretaries and various national government agencies—is tasked to provide the necessary long-term strategy and funding requirement to the task of developing the provinces. The Philippine Senate, whose constituency is national in character, is also responsible for the economic development of the provinces.

Suffice it to say, the argument which Romulo raised is way off the mark. Is the congressman suggesting that the interest of Pasigueños is contrary to the national interest? Our appeal stems from the simple fact that we are Pasigueños who voted him to represent our interest in Congress for three terms.

The slow development of the provinces has been an age-old issue, dating back to the time of President Manuel L. Quezon. Why must he throw a monkey wrench into a valid and reasonable aspiration of his constituents? If neighboring cities like Marikina, Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Antipolo, Taguig-Pateros, Caloocan, Quezon City and Manila can increase their congressional representation, why can’t Pasig? To paraphrase his campaign line: “Hindi astig ang Pasig—Napag-iwanan na po ang Pasig!”

Our appeal for additional congressional districts is not meant to “make his life easier,” it is meant for us Pasigueños to have our fair share of representation in Congress, based on what the Constitution provides. Neither is it designed to advance any person’s political ambitions, it is only meant to assert our right, as citizens, to proportionate representation.

We ask nothing for ourselves, but we are prepared to assert our rights as Pasigueños through a legitimate Peoples’ Initiative. We call on our fellow concerned Pasigueños, ordinary citizens, the Pasig City leadership, Mayor Maribel Eusebio, the city council, barangay captains and their councils, the youth sector, academe, workers, and all sectors of the Pasig community to rally behind this just cause. “Kung hindi tatlo, Pasigueño ay talo!”

—ROQUE NAVARRO, chair, Pasig 3 District Movement

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