Rhea Gullas wants to divide Cebu’s 1st district into 2

·3 min read

REPRESENTATIVE Rhea Gullas of Cebu’s first district plans to divide her district into two to facilitate the delivery of services to constituents.

The neophyte congresswoman cited the growing population of the first district as the reason for her move. The first district is the biggest of the Province of Cebu’s seven districts.

Rhea, wife of Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr., wants a new eighth district of Cebu for the cities of Naga and Carcar and the towns of San Fernando and Sibonga, leaving only Talisay City and Minglanilla under the first district.

Other bills she would file during the 19th Congress are the construction and improvement of roads from the mountain barangays to the national highway, granting of cityhood status to Minglanilla and San Fernando towns, improvement in the education system, and delivery of healthcare services.

Mayor Gullas, who was representative of Cebu’s first district from 2013 to 2019, said he would support his wife’s move due to the first district’s growing population, which needs to be attended to.

Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong also welcomed the plan to split the first district into two, telling SunStar this would be a big help to the towns and cities of the district.

“That would really be beneficial to all of us,” Chiong said, citing the first district’s voting population of more than half a million.

As for who would represent the eighth district once created, Chiong said: “The group would still have to agree on who it will be, because it would be good if there are common sentiments. The group will be much stronger if there is a consensus.”

Chiong said talk of dividing the first district was not new, as then representative Eduardo Gullas, Samsam’s grandfather, had even filed a bill in Congress on this already in 2021.

Chiong was optimistic the measure would pass in Congress, saying local bills normally faced no opposition.

“I think so because wala may (there is no) objection. ... Basta local bill wala man kaayo problema sa Congress. Unya majority man sab ang mga mayors (And majority of the mayors support the idea),” Chiong added.

Filed earlier

On Oct. 14, 2021, then representative Eduardo Gullas, Samsam’s grandfather, filed House Bill 10385 calling for the creation of an eighth district comprising Naga and Carcar cities, and San Fernando and Sibonga towns.

Gullas cited 2020 figures showing that the first district’s population of 809,335 accounted for 24 percent of the 3.32 million population of the seven districts combined.

Citing the second, sixth and seventh districts as having populations of less than 300,000 each and yet having their own representatives, he called the first district underrepresented in Congress in “representation in the law-making body, and more importantly, in the allocation of resources, benefits and services.”

The division of the first district would result in the first district of Talisay City and Minglanilla having a population of 414,050, and the eighth district having a population of 395,285, his bill noted. (CTL, TPT)

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