It is not necessary anymore to call the collective island provinces of Mindoro (Oriental and Occidental), Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan as ‘Region IV-B’, following the enactment into law of Republic Act 10879 which officially establishes the South Western Tagalog Region, comprised of the said provinces, as the ‘MIMAROPA Region’ on July 17, 2016. Third District Representative Gil Acosta, in today’s session of ‘Kapihan with the Press’, expressed his delight in welcoming the news, citing that the law finally stabilizes Palawan’s regional identity.
According to Acosta, the official creation of the ‘MIMAROPA Region’ under a Republic Act will make the composition of the region more intact. It should be noted that before such law enactment the clustering of the said island provinces under a single region was anchored merely on an Executive Order. He said that RA 10879 will give MIMAROPA a distinct regional standing from its present status, thus boosting its economic position.
Acosta also sympathized with the sentiments of some Palaweños who view the ‘labeling’ of MIMAROPA as ‘Region IV-B’ as having connotations of ‘second-class’. He said calling the provinces simply as ‘MIMAROPA Region’ or ‘Southwestern Tagalog Region’ sounds much better.
“Magandang balita yan, kung RA na? Maganda ‘yan. Natatandaan ninyo when I was still in the Provincial Board? Talagang nag-ingay ako noong tri-nansfer tayo sa Region 6 without consultation,” Acosta shared to the press. It can be recalled that in 2005, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order (EO) 429 which transferred Palawan to the Western Visayas Region. The EO was later deferred following opposition from majority of Palaweños. “Unlike kung EO, ‘pag magpalit ng presidente baka ilipat na naman tayo,” he added.
The MIMAROPA Act is one of the 29 bills submitted during the term of former President Benigno Aquino III that have lapsed into law. Article VI, Section 27 of the Constitution states that “the President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had signed it.”