MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed the law dividing Palawan into the provinces of Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur.
In Republic Act 11259, signed by Duterte on April 5 and released to the media Saturday, the three provinces will be created if ratified through a plebiscite to be held in the affected areas in May 2020.
Palawan del Sur will be considered the “mother province” and will be composed of the municipalities of Aborlan, Narra, Quezon, Rizal, Espanola, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Balacbac, and Kalayaan with Brooke’s Point as capital.
Palawan del Norte will consist of the municipalities of Coron, Culion, Busuanga, Linacapan, Taytay, and El Nido with Taytay as capital, while Palawan Oriental will be composed of the municipalities of Roxas, Araceli, Dumaran, Cuyo, Agutaya, Magsaysay, Cayancillo, and San Vicente with Roxas as capital.
Puerto Princesa City will not be part of the plebiscite and proposed division being a highly urbanized city (HUC).
The election of the new officials for the three provinces will be during the May 2022 national and local polls.
Elected officials prior to the May 2022 elections will continue to serve their unexpired terms until after the election of new provincial officials.
In 2022, each newly-created province will have its own provincial governor, vice governor, Sangguniang Panlalawigan secretary and members, provincial administrator, provincial treasurer, and other provincial government officers.
One of the law’s authors, Palawan 3rd District Rep. Gil Acosta, earlier said the division of Palawan will be advantageous as it will bring government services closer to the people. EJ Roque /PNA – northboundasia.com