Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Local Government, has delivered yesterday, May 16, the sponsorship speech on House Bill 4451, which seeks the creation of Davao Occidental.
“The slow pace of economic development in most of the municipalities in the second district of Davao del Sur is the primary reason for the present effort to create the province of Davao Occidental. The distances of Digos City, Davao del Sur’s provincial capital, from other municipalities in its second Congressional District are far-off that impairs the effective delivery of basic services to the constituents, as well as the access of its locals to government offices. For instance, the town of Sarangani takes about ten hours by boat to reach the municipality of Malita, the proposed site of the new province of Davao Occidental, and about three hours from the municipality of Malita to Digos City,” Senator Marcos said.
The proposed province will comprise the towns of Malinta, Sta. Maria, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, and Sarangani, all from the second district of Davao del Sur. All the said Local Government Units have expressed their respective support for the proposed measure.
Also, the proposed province has satisfied the legal requirements for its conversion under Section 450 of the Local Government Code of 1991, as amended by Republic Act 9009. The 2010 Census of Population and Housing issued by the National Statistics Office indicates that the proposed Davao Occidental has a population of 293,780, which is more than the 250,000 population required by law. The proposed province has a land area of 2,183.97 square meters as certified by the Land Management Bureau, which is above the 2,000 square kilometers minimum requirement. The average annual regular income of the province, for 2008 and 2009, is P113,220,081.44, which is far above the minimum requirement of twenty million pesos.
“The passage of the proposed bill will spur economic growth and social progress of the concerned municipalities as the seat of local governance will be nearer and accessible that will transform it to be a more responsive to the needs of their constituents,” Senator Marcos added.