As a sharp contrast to the report about 20 Towns and Cities Over One Third of Bicol Population, 19 Bicol towns registered a population with the combined total of 242,965. It is equivalent to 4.48% of Bicol’s 5.42M in the official census conducted last May of 2010.
Majority of these towns are located in far flung rural areas. Population sizes ranged from the smallest of 8,003 to one that barely reached the 20K mark.
The town of Gigmoto (CAT) has the lowest resident count of 8,003 followed by 9,738 Panganiban (CAT); 10,114 San Vicente (CAN); 10,345 Gainza (CAS); 11,370 Bagamanoc (CAT); 12,243 Baras (CAT); 12,592 San Lorenzo Ruiz (CAN); 13,764 Batuan (MAS); 14,107 (San Miguel (CAT); 15,437 Bombon (CAS); 16,520 Santa Magadalena (SOR); 16,899 Jovellar (ALB); 17,050 Siruma (CAS); 17.357 Esperanza (MAS); 18,049 Cabusao (CAS); 19,393 Pandan (CAT); and 19,984 Bato (CAT).
Meanwhile, the six Bicol provinces registered sharp increase in population led by Camarines Sur (CAS) with 1,822,371 head count, then Albay (ALB) 1,233,432; Masbate (MAS) 834,650; Sorsogon (SOR) 740,743; Camarines Norte (CAN) 542,915; and Catanduanes (CAT) 246,300.
The province of Albay has an average population growth rate of 1.57% between 1990 and 2010; Camarines Norte, 1.65%; Camarines Sur 1.68%; Catanduanes 1.39%; Masbate 1.67%; and, Sorsogon 1.75%. Expect that Sorsogon will add more heads in the next census to close the wide gap with Masbate province.
It is interesting to note here that provinces and cities are represented in the legislature (Congress) in proportion to their population. For a province or group of towns to get one district representative, it should muster the minimum requirement of 250,000 residents. (Read the discussion on the apportionment and creation of congressional district in Camarines Sur here: Calabanga in 3rd Congressional District of CamSur.)
At present, Camarines Sur has five congressional districts but a population count of 1.82M is enough for 7.28 (rounded off to 7) districts. The province of Albay with 1.2M residents equivalent to 4.9 (almost and close to 5!) is also under represented. Albay has 3 congressional representatives
in the current congress.
With the exponential increase in population, not only in the Bicol region, but generally in majority of the country, one day we will find that the Philippines will have an overwhelming supply of congressmen in the Batasan complex. I can not imagine the size of legislative building it has to build to accomodate wheelers and dealers of pork barrel. Is there a flaw in the current constitution? Just asking.
Read first part of this arcticle, here: 20 Towns and Cities Over One Third of Bicol Population.
Read third part of this arcticle, here:7 Bicol Island-Towns Has .21M Residents in 2010