Provincial board endorses bill creating new town in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 November) — The Sarangani provincial board has endorsed the immediate passage of a proposed bill at the House of Representatives that seeks the creation of another municipality in the province.

In a resolution, the board expressed its full support to House Bill (HB) 5090 authored by Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel Pacquiao that pushes for the conversion of Barangay Malandag in Malungon, Sarangani into a municipality.

Board member Cyril Yap, chair of the board’s local enactment committee, said they passed the resolution in response to the strong endorsement to the move issued by the provincial government of Sarangani headed by Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon.

He said they also considered the resolutions manifesting full support to the move submitted by the 12 barangay councils of Malungon that were proposed to become the component barangays of the new municipality.

These are Barangays Malandag proper Datal Batong, Datal Bila, B’laan, Alkikan, Kibala, Malabod, Kiblat, Datal Tampal, Atlae, Banahaw and Nagpan.

Rep. Pacquiao filed HB 5090 or “An Act Creating the Municipality of Malandag in the Province of Sarangani” last October 13. It was referred to the House committee on local government on October 22.

The proposed measure took off from a bill filed in the 12th Congress by then Sarangani Rep. Erwin Chiongbian.

The 12 barangays that will compose the proposed new municipality, which would be the eighth for Sarangani, are all part of the land-locked Malungon town.

The province’s six other component towns — Alabel, Glan, Malapatan, Kiamba, Maasim and Maitum — are located in the coasts of Sarangani Bay.

Malungon is composed of 31 barangays and has a total population of 95,044 based on the 2010 census.

Pacquiao noted that based on the number of its inhabitants, Malungon is considered as one of the most populous municipalities in the country.

He said the town is one of the biggest in Region 12 in terms of land area that is measured at 750.92 square kilometers.

“The people of the 12 barangays have been clamoring for the creation (of their area) into a separate municipality to develop and improve their economic and social condition,” he said.

He said the barangays comprising the proposed town have passed the requirements in terms of population, land area and income as provided for in Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Act of 1991.

As a separate municipality, Pacquiao said its expected shares in the Internal Revenue Allotment as well as in local and real property taxes will allow it to effectively and efficiently deliver various basic services.

“It will also enable the 12 barangays to chart their own development plans and programs to promote public health, safety and general welfare,” he said.

Aside from the provincial board, the measure was endorsed earlier by the province’s seven municipal mayors.

In a resolution, they specifically called on the House of Representatives to fast track the passage of the bill.

The Sarangani congressional district office had created a task force and a technical working group that will monitor the progress of the measure and lead the gathering of the required documents that will support its passage. (MindaNews)