Senate OKs bill dividing Palawan into 3 provinces
The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill that seeks to split Palawan into three provinces: Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur.
House Bill No. 8055, which aims to divide of the country’s largest province in terms of land area, was passed with 14 affirmative votes, one negative vote from Senator Risa Hontiveros, and zero abstention.
Angara said with the vastness of Palawan, which has around 1,800 islands and a notably large population, splitting the province into three will comply with the requirements for a province set by the Local Government Code.
“If we speak of economic potential, Palawan is a powerhouse. Its local growth rate has been clocked at bristling 7 percent per annum for many years now,” Senator Sonny Angara, sponsor of the bill and chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said in a statement.
“This was achieved with a total ban on the exploitation of natural resources over a wide swath of its land,” Angara said.
Under the bill, Palawan del Sur, which will be considered the “mother province,” will consist of municipalities, namely, Aborlan, Narra, Quezon, Rizal, Espanola, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Balacbac, and Kalayaan.
Palawan Del Norte, on the other hand, will include municipalities of Coron, Culion, Busuanga, Linacapan, Taytay, and El Nido.
Palawan Oriental, meanwhile, will cover municipalities of Roxas, Araceli, Dumaran, Cuyo, Agutaya, Magsaysay, Cayancillo, and San Vicente.
Angara said the creation of the three provinces will be established via a plebiscite in 2020. /kga
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