LUCENA CITY, Philippines?The Department of Budget and Management has released funds for the holding of a plebiscite on the proposed division of Quezon province into two separate political units, prompting the Church and government officials to prepare a massive information campaign.
A document obtained by the Inquirer said Mario Relampagos, DBM officer in charge, released on Oct. 16 a ?Special Allotment Release Order? to the Commission on Elections in the amount of P38 million to fund the holding of the plebiscite.
Earlier on Sept. 2, Comelec Chair Jose Melo wrote the DBM, requesting the release of the fund to cover the expenses for the holding of the plebiscite.
Quezon Rep. Proceso Alcala (2nd District), one of the principal authors of Republic Act No. 9495 creating the new province of Quezon del Sur, said that once the Comelec receives the fund and the official date of the plebiscite has been set, he will initiate an information campaign in the central parts of the province.
?It?s now our obligation to the people to enlighten them on the merits of the measure. But we will both invite pros and anti groups to bring their cases directly to the people,? he said.
Next week, the Catholic Prelature of Infanta in northern Quezon, headed by Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona, will also initiate a multi-sectoral forum in Infanta town, which will be attended by resource speakers from both supporters and opposition groups to thoroughly discuss RA 9495.
Mario O. Establecida, vicar general of the prelature, said they had also distributed survey forms to 20 sectoral representatives in northern Quezon to feel the pulse of the people on the issue.
?It?s a random sampling. We want to know the awareness level of the people on the proposed division of the province,? he said over the phone Friday.
In an earlier interview, Quezon board member Alona Obispo claimed that the proposed measure was still alien to most Quezon residents.
According to Obispo, majority in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan are also against the creation of the new province. Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon