Press Release
October 8, 2012

Senate bill seeks creation of new province in Davao

The Senate approved today on third and final reading a bill creating the province of Davao Occidental from the province of Davao del Sur.

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, sponsor of the bill and chairman of the Committee on Local Government, said all local government units have expressed their support for House Bill 4451 otherwise known as the Charter of the Province of Davao Occidental.

The proposed legislation was approved with 19 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and zero abstention. Those who voted for the approval of the proposed measure are Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III and Senators Edgardo Angara, Joker Arroyo, Pia Cayetano, Miriam-Defensor Santiago, Franklin Drilon, Chiz Escudero, Teofisto Guingona III, Gregorio Honasan III, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Kiko Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Ramon Revilla, Jr. Antonio Trillanes IV and Manuel Villar.

"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. 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. For instance, the town of Sarangani takes about ten 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," Marcos explained.

According to Marcos, the newly created province of Davao Occidental will be comprised of the municipalities of Malinta, Sta. Maria, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, and Sarangani, all from the second district of Davao del Sur.

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, he added.

Also, Marcos said, the proposed province has satisfied 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 of the province.

"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," (OLIVE CAUNAN, PRIB)

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