With 612,974 inhabitants, the province can be classified in the second district, and one of its settlements, the island of Caluya, is the seventh richest settlement in the country.
AKLAN, Philippines – Antique residents have begun a signature campaign urging their provincial lawmakers to support the bill creating the second district, Vice President Edgardo Denosta said on Thursday, October 20.
The petition, filed on Monday, October 17, is in support of separate resolutions approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) and the Liga ng Mga Barangay.
They are all calling on Senator Loren Legarda and his younger brother, Lone District Representative Antonio Legarda, to file and shepherd the measure. Loren served as an antique congressman during his hiatus from the Senate.
The campaigners also asked COO-NATTCO party representative Felimon Espares, who is also of Antique origin, to support their call.
Local officials and constituents have pointed out that a new legislative district would increase the province’s share of the national budget and spur development.
As of the 2020 census, it has a population of 612,974, one of four provinces on the island of Panay in Western Visayas. Its area is 2729.17 square kilometers, 590 barangays live in 18 settlements.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, in 2021, 21.9% (32,000 families) of families in the province were considered poor.
Denosta wrote the decision made by the SP on September 29. In his third and last term of office, the vice president wrote similar resolutions in 2016 and 2019.
The Liga ng Mga Barangay passed a similar resolution on October 5 unanimously.
Governor Rhodora Cadiao earlier assured the vice president of her support.
“The antique province has already been entitled to two districts since 2010, but there is currently no bill to that effect in either Congress (House of Representatives) or Senate,” Cadiao said.
The general population requirement in two districts is only 500,000.
The guards, who are currently in Manila, could not be reached for comment either
Recently, the Commission on Audit named the antique Caluya Island as the seventh richest locality with an income of P3.117 billion, mainly because the Semirara Mining and PowerCorporation is located here. – Rappler.com