By John Unson | The Philippine Star
COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Maguindanao is closer to being split into two smaller provinces.
Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu (Maguindanao, 2nd District) told reporters Tuesday the House of Representatives has approved on third reading House Bill 6413 that he authored, meant to divide the province into two smaller provinces.
Rep. Ronnie Sinsuat (Maguindanao, 1st District) had also filed a separate bill seeking the creation of Northern and Southern Maguindanao provinces out of the original Maguindanao province that has 36 municipalities.
Maguindanao was created via a decree by President Ferdinand Marcos almost five decades ago.
“Our constituents are so optimistic of the split of Maguindanao into two provinces,” Mangudadatu told reporters Tuesday.
The proposed Northern Maguindanao shall cover all 11 towns in the first district of Maguindanao as well as Talitay, which is presently under the second district of the province.
Southern Maguindanao shall comprise all towns in the second district of Maguindanao.
Sinsuat said his constituents in the first district of Maguindanao are for the creation of Northern and Southern Maguindanao provinces too.
Sinsuat and Mangudadatu are, however, both apprehensive that the coronavirus pandemic could stale a plebiscite for the ratification of HB 6413 once passed into law.
“Just the same, voters in the province are optimistic that a plebiscite towards that goal would soon take place,” Mangudadatu said.