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229 lawmakers approve CamSur split

by Maricel Cruz
[ ] August 5, 2011

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill that carved a new province to be called Nueva Camarines out of Camarines Sur.

In a plenary session, the House voted 229-1 to approve the bill, thus overwhelming the lone opposition posed by Rep. Salvio Fortuno, who threatened to take actions to block the measure.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the bill will be transmitted to the Senate next week.

The four congressmen of Camarines Sur who principally authored or co-authored the bill proposing the creation of Nueva Camarines hailed the passage of the controversial measure.

“This triumph belongs to the people of Camarines Sur who are clamoring for good governance and honest-to-goodness solutions to the extreme poverty prevailing in the province’s far-flung barangays,” said Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella, who represents Camarines Sur’s 4thDistrict.

A number of congressmen said they voted in favor of the bill because it reflects the needs, aspirations and desires of the people of Camarines Sur, and that they have no doubt that the Senate would also see its rationale and in so doing pass it too.

Fuentebella principally authored House Bill 4728 which the House passed as HB 4820 to reflect the amendments of the Local Government Committee which conducted public hearings on the proposal to create Nueva Camarines from the 4th and 5th districts of Camarines Sur.

Reps. Luis Villafuerte Sr., Dato Arroyo and Rolando Andaya Jr., the three other Camarines Sur congressmen who signed the Nueva Camarines bill as co-authors, also lauded its emphatic passage.

Villafuerte and Arroyo signed certifications that they were co-authoring the bill, presenting the same to the Local Government Committee chaired by Rep. George Arnaiz. Villafuerte also manifested a desire by Andaya to sign the bill as co-author upon the latters arrival from abroad.

This week, Rep. Andaya did just that, which was to sign the bill, leaving Fortuno as the only Camarines Sur congressman to oppose the creation of Nueva Camarines.

At least 24 of the 35 mayors of Camarines, along with many other local government executives down to the barangay level, had trooped to the hearings of the Arnaiz committee to express support for the bill.

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