Bill carving new province in Davao gets Senate nod

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Monday, October 8, 2012

MANILA -- Nineteen senators on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill creating the province of Davao Occidental from the province of Davao del Sur.

House Bill 4451 or the Charter of the Province of Davao Occidental received the support of the following:

* Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile,
* Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada,
* Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III
* Senator Edgardo Angara,
* Senator Joker Arroyo,
* Senator Pia Cayetano,
* Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago,
* Senator Franklin Drilon,
* Senator Francis Escudero,
* Senator Teofisto Guingona III,
* Senator Gregorio Honasan II,
* Senator Panfilo Lacson,
* Senator Loren Legarda,
* Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,
* Senator Francis Pangilinan,
* Senator Ralph Recto,
* Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr.,
* Antonio Trillanes IV and Manuel Villar.

Marcos, chairman of the local government committee, said the "slow pace" of economic development in the second district of Davao del Sur prompted lawmakers to call for the creation of the new province.

"The distances of Digos City, Davao del Sur's provincial capital, from other municipalities in its second congressional district are far-off that impairs the effective delivery of basic services to the constituents, as well as the access of its locals to government offices," he said.

For instance, the senator said the town of Sarangani takes about 10 hours by boat to reach the municipality of Malita, the proposed site of the new province of Davao Occidental, and about three hours from the municipality of Malita to Digos City.

The municipalities of Malinta, Sta. Maria, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, and Sarangani, all from the second district of Davao del Sur, will comprise the new province.

The lone legislative district of Davao del Sur shall be comprised of the City of Digos and the municipalities of Malalag, Sulop, Kiblawan, Padada, Hagonoy, Sta. Cruz, Matanao, Bansalan and Magsaysay.

Marcos said the proposed province has met the legal requirements for its conversion under Section 450 of the Local Government Code of 1991, as amended by Republic Act 9009 with regards to population, land area and average annual income. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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