Senator Chiz Escudero said the choice of dividing the province of Camarines Sur should be left to the people through a plebiscite.
“The motives behind the move to divide or not to divide the province of Camarines Sur are political. Pareho lang naman silang namumulitika, ang pro and anti,” Escudero said.
“Let’s just leave the choice and decision to the people of Camarines Sur and let us all respect their choice,” he added.
He stressed that the will of the people of Camarines Sur should prevail once they have decided, through a plebiscite, when the decision to divide Camarines Sur will be put to a vote.
House Bill 4820, a bill creating the province of Nueva Camarines out of Camarines Sur, is currently in the period of interpellation at the Senate.
According to the bill, no new district will be created if the division of the province pushes through.
Escudero, however, clarified that while an additional district may mean additional taxes, it will also mean bigger funds for public services.
“For every new district created, more funds will flow into that area. In Sorsogon, for instance, we have two districts only. A congressman’s CDF is P70 million, so the province enjoys P140 million for different projects. If we get three districts, the funds to be poured into Sorsogon becomes P210 million,” Escudero explained.
“Instead of a staff of six each congressman, we will have 18 for three congressmen. Additional costs, but additional services also,” he added.
Escudero said the assumption that government funds would be mishandled does not always ring true. “On paper and in theory, dagdag serbisyo sa taong bayan din iyon,” he said.