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MALAYBALAY CITY – In 2022, Bukidnon’s four members in the House of Representatives have filed 27 bills with local significance among 166 they have filed as principal authors.
Representatives Jose Manuel F. Alba (1st District), Jonathan Keith T. Flores (2nd District), Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr (3rd District), and Laarni Lavin Roque (4th District), filed the “locally significant” bills, which covered a total of 11 themes, with the highest number of bills focused on education, local government, and health, among other themes, as shown by reports posted in the House official website as of January 4, 2022.
There were six locally significant bills filed for each of education and local government, including the proposal to create a south schools division of the Department of Education, filed by Rep. Zubiri on September 19, 2022. The bill was referred and remains pending in the Committee on Basic Education and Culture as of September 21. Rep. Roque also co-authored the bill.
Based on the bill, a new DepEd schools’ division is proposed to spin-off from the mother Division of Bukidnon. The proposed new division, to be based in Maramag Bukidnon, will house the 10 schools districts belonging to the towns under Bukidnon’s third and fourth legislative districts. Each of Bukidnon’s two cities already has separate DepEd schools divisions.
Rep. Zubiri also filed a bill proposing the conversion of the satellite campuses of Bukidnon State University in 12 Bukidnon towns into regular campuses of BukSU. The campuses are located in Talakag, Baungon, Libona, Malitbog, Impasug-ong, Cabanglasan, San Fernando, Quezon, Kitaotao, Damulog, Kadingilan, and Kalilangan. The House approved the bill on Nov. 28 and has been transmitted to the Senate as of Nov. 29, 2022.
Zuburi also filed bills proposing to establish a Technical Education and Skills Development Authority training and accreditation center each in Kibawe and Don Carlos, Bukidnon. Both bills are pending at the committee level as of December 5, 2022.
In local government, Rep. Alba also filed on July 27, 2022 a bill proposing to convert the Municipality of Manolo Fortich into a component city. The bill is pending in the Committee on Local Government as of August 3, 2022.
Rep. Flores also filed a bill declaring Sept. 1 every year as “Araw ng Bukidnon” as a special non-working Holiday in Bukidnon. The House approved the bill in November 2022 and transmitted it to the Senate.
Rep. Roque has filed a bill on July 13, 2022 proposing to re-district Bukidnon’s current four legislative districts to five legislative districts. Rep. Zubiri also filed a bill on November 9, 2022 proposing to reapportion the Province of Bukidnon into five regular districts.
Rep. Roque has also filed a bill on June 30, 2022 proposing to subdivide Valencia City’s lone Poblacion Barangay into four distinct and separate barangays. The current Barangay Poblacion has a population of 35, 793 as of the 2015 census. Roque has also proposed to create a new barangay from the current Brgy. Banlag.
In health, House representatives proposed the creation of new medical facilities or conversion of existing ones to higher capacity.
Rep. Zubiri filed two bills proposing to establish a National Kidney and Transplant Institute and an oxygen production facility, also in Maramag.
Rep. Flores also filed on September 5, 2022 a bill converting the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center in Malaybalay City into Bukidnon Regional Hospital from 150-bed to 300-bed capacity.
Rep. Roque also filed a bill in August 22, 2022 proposing to establish a specialty research hospital in Valencia City to be called Teodoro N. Pepito Farmers Research and Medical Center, later amended as “Bukidnon Farmers Research and Medical Center”. She noted in her bill that the city and neighboring towns in the 4th District needed a government hospital to attend to the health needs of the population.
Rep. Roque also filed three other bills focused on tourism, including the proposal to declare Lake Apo in Brgy. Guinoyoran, Sagumata Falls in Brgy. Lourdes, and Mount Anahawon in Brgy. Banlag as eco-tourism zones to encourage the responsible and sustainable use as well as for the preservation and conservation of natural resources.
Another bill from Rep. Flores also proposed the creation of an additional branch of the Municipal Trial Court (MCTC) in Cities to be stationed in Malaybalay City.
Rep. Zubiri also filed a bill proposing to create an additional branch of the Regional Trial Court (RTC)-10 in the Municipality of Maramag.
He also filed a bill proposing to create three additional branches of the Regional Trial Court to be stationed in Valencia City. This bill, HB 06586, filed on December 12, 2022, has substituted an earlier version, HB 00477, which was originally filed by Rep. Roque on June 30, 2022. According to the latter’s House web page, HB 06586 substituted HB 00477 with the mother bill “pending with (the Committee on) Rules”.
Public Works and others
Rep. Roque also proposed in two separate bills the creation of a fourth district engineering office and renumbering the DPWH engineering districts corresponding to the number of the legislative districts.
Rep. Roque also filed separate bills proposing to establish a rehabilitation center for child and youth with special needs and indigenous training center in Valencia City.
Most of the bills filed were reported to be pending in the committee level as of January 4, 2023.
Sponsorship and committee alignment
Rep. Flores filed 37 bills as principal author and 23 bills as co-author. He is the only representative from Bukidnon who chairs a committee, the Committee of Government Re-organization and sits as vice chair of three committees; housing and urban development, justice, and suffrage and electoral reforms. He is also a member of 13 other House committees.
Former Bukidnon Governor Zubiri, who reprises his role as representative of Bukidnon’s third district, has filed a total of 55 bills where he is the principal author and six others as co-author. He is vice chair of the committees of appropriations, poverty alleviation, and indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples. He is also a member of seven other House committees.
Rep. Roque filed 62 bills as principal author and four others as co-author. She is vice chair of the committee on Persons with Disability, member to eight other committees, and as Asst. Majority Leader in the Committee on Rules.
Rep. Alba filed as principal sponsor a total of 12 bills and co-authored three others. He has been assigned to be Vice Chair of the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals and as member of five other committees. (BukidnonNews.Net)