Philippine Star, Thursday, April 24, 2008
What should really be required to create a congressional district? Should it be mere population alone? Should it be income? Area? Or should it be common sense? The question is asked because it seems that everybody is rushing pell-mell to create more districts.
Some say Mandaue City should be a new district. Others say Lapulapu City should, too. Then there are those who say a Liloan, Consolacion and Cordova district can be worked out. Not so fast, say others, leave Liloan out of the picture. Cordova? Whatever.
You see, everyone who has been pushing this way or that on the matter of creating more districts is a politician who has a political stake in any future political configuration of this country.
The people who actually will make up the population in these districts have not even been consulted on the matter. Go ahead, ask them, and the likely answer you get will be a big fat huh? or a tight and flat duh!
Look, it would have been a little bit better if, taken into context with prevailing situations, the addition of more districts would mean more food on the table, or more jobs to keep more families home together.
But the only thing that more districts can assure is more congressmen, and more congressmen mean the very distinct possibility of even more congressional investigations. And more congressional investigations mean nothing ever gets done.
The current state of agitation for more congressional districts appears to have been sprung to life by new population figures that say we are now hovering over the 90 million figure.
But that is not what is frightening. What scares the heck out of most people is the expectation that the current figure will double 27 years from now. That means we will be 180 million in 2035. Do the math. How many districts do you think we will have by then?
If we do not stop this folly, every barangay may yet end up as one, and your friendly neighborhood tanod may be your next congressman. Then we will have the dubious distinction of having the highest per capita representation in the world. Never mind if we've nothing to eat.