Creation of new Davao Occidental province approved

Subscribe Now May 17, 2012 at 08:21am

A BILL seeking to create the new province of Davao Occidental has been approved on second reading at the Senate. Senators yesterday green-lighted House Bill (HB) No. 4451 proposing the creation of the new province comprising of Malinta, Sta. Maria, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos and Sarangani towns all from the second district of Davao del Sur.

"The passage of the proposed bill will spur economic growth and social progress of the concerned municipalities as the seat of local governance will be nearer and accessible that will transform it to be more responsive to the needs of their constituents," Ferdinand R. Marcos, local government committee chairman, said in his sponsorship speech.

"The slow pace of economic development in most of the municipalities in the second district of Davao del Sur is the primary reason for the present effort to create the province of Davao Occidental," he added.

This, as the towns will be entitled to have a higher budget. The new province will have its own share of the government’s revenues.

The proposed province satisfied the legal requirements for its conversion under Republic Act (RA) No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, as amended, a statement released yesterday showed.

The proposed Davao Occidental has a population of 293,780, which is more than the 250,000 population mandated by the law, it said, citing latest government data.

Moreover, its land area of 2,183.97 square kilometers (sq. km.), as certified by the Land Management Bureau, is larger than the 2,000 sq. km. minimum requirement, the statement added.

The towns’ aggregated income in 2008 and 2009 averaged at P113.220 million, far above the required P20 million.

Meanwhile, the Senate also approved on second reading HB 5917 converting Ilagan town into a component city of Isabela province.

The town’s population of 134,174 fell short of the 150,000 required for cities under the law, Mr. Marcos said in a separate statement. But he added that it surpassed the minimum land area of 100 sq. km. and P100-million income.

Ilagan has a land area of 742.90 sq. km. It also has a P105.735 million average annual income in 2010 and 2011. "The municipality of Ilagan, having satisfied the income and land area requirements under the law (Local Government Code), is qualified for the conversion to cityhood," Mr. Marcos said.


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