Plebiscite on dividing Maguindanao set in September

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 23 2022 05:37 PM

MANILA — A plebiscite for the ratification of the division of Maguindanao into 2 provinces will be held on Sept. 17, 2022, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced on Thursday. 

The commission en banc set the date for the plebiscite during a regular session, said acting Comelec spokesperson Joh Rex Laudiangco. 

President Rodrigo Duterte last year approved Republic Act 11550 that divided the southern province into Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur. 
The 2 provinces will be created upon approval by majority of residents in a plebiscite, the charter reads. 

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Maguindanao's land size has posed challenges to the delivery of basic services to its about 1.7 million residents, the sponsor of the law, 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.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Melvin Matibag said he hoped that the incoming administration would expand "gains" in the Bangsamoro region. He said some 19,000 former rebels have been "decommissioned", while P2.6 billion was allotted to "socioeconomic" projects.