The Municipal Council of Aborlan on Monday passed a resolution supporting the bid to create smaller provinces out of Palawan and batting for the designation of Aborlan and Puerto Princesa City as one separate province.
Councilor Arnel Ortega raised the proposal during the town’s regular council meeting, stating it to be a trial balloon idea for consideration of the provincial leaders.
“Gusto lang natin tignan ang possibility of creating four provinces. But, ang ating position now, we strongly support the division of Palawan to be divided and created into three provinces and one highly urbanized city,” Ortega said.
Aborlan’s position differed from the consensus that had formed at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan which called for the creation of three distinct provinces, with it being part of the so-called Southern Palawan province.
Under Aborlan’s proposal, the town will remain a municipality with 19 barangays while Puerto Princesa City which has 66 barangays will be pared down into three municipalities.
“Aborlan will remain a municipality and the 66 barangays of Puerto Princesa will likewise be clustered, tag-22 halimbawa, and that will be created into three to four municipalities,” Ortega said.
“Kung hindi naman sila pumayag at manatili sila bilang highly urbanized city ay hindi ito mangyayari,” he added.
Ortega claimed that under the proposed division, Puerto Princesa as an independent city cannot claim a share from the Malampaya gas royalty.
“They cannot take the part in the Malampaya sharing. So for them to take part as one of federal state kung sakali, dapat maging probinsya sila,” Ortega said.
Meanwhile, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron said on Monday they had been consulted by Capitol asking them if they wanted to form a fourth province.
“Ang sabi ni Gov. sa amin pag-isipan nyo, would you like to be another province? At kung malapit na nating matanggap ang P100 billion na unremitted sa atin na share sa national wealth ay hindi kayo sigurado kasi highly urbanized city kayo,” Bayron said after the flag ceremony at the City Hall.
Bayron said they are studying their options but assured that local residents will be consulted on the position the City government will take.
“Nagmi-meeting kami kung ano ba ang epekto niyan? Kung magiging probinsya tayo, saan ang munisipyo. Ngayon maraming komplikasyon subalit ito ay didesisyunan nating lahat. Siniguro namin na hindi kami basta-basta lulukso ng hindi nagkokonsulta sa lahat,” Bayron said.