COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 22 December) – Eight bills have been filed for the creation of municipalities covering the 63 barangays in North Cotabato which petitioned and voted to be included in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during the 2019 plebiscite in the region’s Special Geographic Area (SGA).
Filed on Tuesday, Dec. 20, the bills, if approved, will create the municipalities of Pahamudin, Kadayangan, Kabalukan, Northern Kabacan, Kapalawan, Malmar, Tugunan, and Ligawasan.
The SGA is composed of 63 villages in the towns of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit, and Pigcawayan, all in North Cotabato, a province adjacent to Maguindanao.
Parliament Bill (PB) No. 129 creating the Municipality of Pahamudin will include the barangays of Balacayon, Buricain, Datu Binasing, Datu Mantil, Kadilingan, Lower Pangangkalan, Libungan Torreta (seat of government), Matilac, Patot, Upper Pangangkalan, Lower Baquer, and Simsiman, which currently belong to Pigcawayan.
Kadayangan will be composed of the barangays of Central Labas, Kapinpilan (seat of government), Malingao, Mudseng, Sambulawan, Tugal, and Tumbras in Midsayap.
Barangays Damatulan, Kadigasan, Kadingilan, Kudarangan, Nabalawag (seat of government), and Olandang in Midsayap, Barangay Macasendeg in Pikit, and Barangay Dungguan in Aleosan will form Kabalukan as proposed under PB No. 131.
Northern Kabacan, as proposed under PB No. 132, will Barangays Buluan, Nangaan, Sanggadong, Simbuhay, Simone, Pedtad (seat of government) and Tamped in Kabacan.
Under PB No. 133, Barangays Kibayao, Kitulaan (seat of government), Langogan, Manarapan, Nasapian, Pebpoloan and Tupig in Carmen will form Kapalawan.
PB No. 134 is proposing the creation of Malmar to be composed of Barangays Balungis, Batulawan, Fort Pikit, Gokotan (seat of government), Nabundas, Nalapaan and Nunguan in Pikit.
Tugunan will be carved out of Barangays Balong, Bualan, Lagunde, Macabual, Manaulanan (seat of government), Pamalian and Panicupan in Aleosan as proposed under PB No. 135.
Ligawasan will be composed of Barangays Bagoinged (seat of government), Barungis, Bulol, Buliok, Gli-Gli, Kabasalan, and Rajamuda in Pikit.
As stated in the bills, the eight municipalities will be created upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast by qualified voters in a plebiscite to be conducted in the barangays that compose the municipalities.
The Commission on Elections, through the Bangsamoro Electoral Office, shall conduct and supervise the plebiscite.
The BARMM Chief Minister will appoint the first mayor, vice mayor, and eight members of the Sangguniang Bayan of the new municipalities. The Bangsamoro Government will also appropriate and provide financial assistance for their administration and operation. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)