Duterte approves bill splitting Maguindanao into 2 provinces

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2021 05:02 PM | Updated as of May 27 2021 09:12 PM

Duterte approves bill splitting Maguindanao into 2 provinces 1
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during a meeting with Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), local government officials, and area commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police at Camp BGen. Gonzalo H. Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on May 11, 2021. Joey Dalumpines, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA (3rd UPDATE) — President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Thursday the division of Maguindanao into 2 provinces, according to a document that Malacañang released. 

Duterte signed Republic Act 11550 that divided the southern province into Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur. 

Under the law, the new provinces will be composed of the following towns. 

 Maguindanao del Norte

Barira, Buldon, Datu Blah Sinsuat, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Northern Kabuntalan, Parang, North Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, and Talitay

Maguindanao del Sur 

Ampatuan, Buluan, Datu Abdulla Sangki, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Datu Montawal, Datu Paglas, Datu Piang, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun, Guindulungan, Mamasapano, Mangudadatu, Pagalungan, Paglat, Pandag, Rajah Buayan, Sharif Aguak, Sharif Saydona Mustafa, Sultan sa Barongis, Talayan, and South Upi 

According to the law, Dati Odin Sinsuat will be the capital and seat of government of Maguindanao del Norte, while Buluan will be for Maguindanao del Sur.

The transfer of Maguindanao del Sur's capital to Buluan from Sharif Aguak is among the contentious issues when the measure was under deliberation at the Senate.

Each province will also have its own legislative district, with Cotabato City falling under that of Maguindanao del Norte.

The two provinces will be created upon approval by majority of residents in a plebiscite that the Commission on Elections will supervise within 90 days from the law’s effectivity, the charter reads. 

Officials of the newly created provinces will be elected in the May 2022 elections, if the law is approved and ratified within 6 months before the polls. 

Card

The two provinces will each have a governor, vice governor, regular members of the provincial council, and other officials. 

Each province will have several “corporate powers” including to sue and be sued, acquire and covey real or personal property, and enter into contracts, among others, according to RA 11550. 

Maguindanao Second District Rep. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, who sponsored the measure, confirmed that Duterte has approved the creation of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur. 

"Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong pakikinig at pagpanig sa boses ng nakakarami sa amin sa Maguindanao," he said on Facebook, addressing supporters of the move. 

(Thank you for listening and siding with the voice of the majority of us in Maguindanao.)
 
Maguindanao's land size has posed challenges to the delivery of basic services to its about 1.7 million residents, the sponsor of the bill's Senate version, Sen. Francis Tolentino, earlier said. 

The creation of the 2 new Maguindanao provinces will make government services more accessible, he said. 

Duterte, the first president from Mindanao, has promised to bring progress to the countryside.

The Senate passed the measure in March, while the House of Representatives passed it in June 2020. 

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