SOUTHERN LEYTE TO ELECT ONE SOLON IN MAY POLLS AMID SPLIT
File photo of Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, principal author of the law dividing Southern Leyte into two legislative districts.
TACLOBAN CITY — Southern Leyte voters will elect just one member of the House of Representatives on May 13, 2019 despite the recent signing of the law dividing the province into two legislative districts.
Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, the principal author of the law, said the first time people in the province will elect a new lawmaker will be in the May 2022 national and local elections.
“The incumbent representative after the May 2019 election will serve the two districts until the new representative is elected during the 2022 elections,” Mercado told reporters here on Thursday.
President Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11198 on Feb. 1 splitting the 18 towns and one city into two congressional districts.
The first district consists of Maasin City (provincial capital), Macrohon, Padre Burgos, Limasawa, Malitbog, Tomas Oppus, and Bontoc.
The second district is composed of the towns of Sogod, Libagon, Liloan, San Francisco, Pintuyan, San Ricardo, Saint Bernard, Anahawan, San Juan, Hinundayan, Hinunangan, and Silago.
“Just like Leyte province with five representatives, Southern Leyte will have a stronger voice in Congress. We believe that the creation of a new district will further develop the province in terms of tourism, environment protection, and agriculture development,” Mercado said.
Southern Leyte was a sub-province of Leyte until it was made into an independent province in 1959. It is the second least populated in the region with a population of 421,750 as of the 2015 survey.
Its provincial capital, Maasin City, is the birthplace of President Duterte.
Southern Leyte forms an important part of the inter-island transportation system of the country, with regular ferry trips transporting people and goods between the province and Surigao del Norte in Mindanao. (PNA)