On March 13, Palaweños will vote yes or no to the province’s division through a plebiscite. Should the yes votes get a majority, Palawan will be divided into 3 provinces: Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur. It’s a move expected to make the delivery of public services and management of resources more effective and efficient compared to the current setup where everything emanates from the provincial capitol, Puerto Princesa City.
The plebiscite is required by Republic Act No. 11259, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in April 2019. All registered voters from the 23 municipalities of Palawan as of October 2019 can cast their vote. Puerto Princesa is exempted from the plebiscite because it is a highly urbanized city.
If the yes votes win, each of the 3 prospective provinces will have the following officials to be elected in the May 9, 2022 elections:
- A provincial governor
- A provincial vice governor
- Members of the sangguniang panlalawigan or the legislative body of the province
The 3 provinces, along with Puerto Princesa City, will also have their own district representative to be elected in the May 9, 2022 elections. The current provincial officials and district representatives of Palawan’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd legislative districts will continue to occupy their positions until the new officials are elected and assume office.
This map shows how the prospective provinces of Palawan would look like if the yes votes win in the upcoming plebiscite.