MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Sept. 8 (PIA) -- Having two congressional districts for this province will spur growth and development, which in turn can mean wider access to government services reaching more people.

This was the motive behind the initiative of incumbent Lone District Representative Damian Mercado when he filed House Bill 4066, a measure which had hurdled first reading in Congress.

"With two congressional districts, there will be two representatives working for the welfare, for the good of the province and of its people," Cong. Mercado said in an interview last week at the sidelines of the Tanod Congress at the city gym.

It was learned that for a new legislative district to be created, a minimum population of 250,000 is required.

The last census of Southern Leyte in 2010 put the overall population at 420,000 people.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is currently undertaking a nationwide census, the results of which will be used as the official basis if the province of Southern Leyte can qualify to divide into two congressional districts.

The other requirements are sector consultations and a plebiscite, it was also learned. (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)