Governor Jose Alvarez assured the public that the creation of three Palawan provinces will provide a “better future” especially for poor Palaweños.
Governor Alvarez, in a statement released Tuesday, expounded on the “natural wealth distribution”, a specific provision in Republic Act (RA) 11259 being challenged before the Supreme Court.
“Totoong nilakihan ang parte ng probinsya [60 percent],” Alvarez said assuring the public saying, “Ang pondong mapupunta sa probinsya ay nakalaan para sa lahat ng barangay na walang parte sa likas yaman. Ito ay ilalagay sa isang trust fund para lamang sa barangay.”
Once ratified by the public, RA 11259 will supersede the Local Government Code in terms of revenue sharing. From 20 percent, the provincial share will balloon to 60 percent, significantly decreasing the municipal share from 45 percent to 24 percent, and the allotment for the barangays from 35 to 16 percent.
Alvarez said that currently, barangays that do not have natural wealth have no share, which is not fair.
“Walang parte ang mga barangay na walang likas yaman sa kanilang lugar. Ito ay hindi makatuwiran kaya ito po ay masusing pinag-aaralan ng ating mambabatas sa Kongreso at nakita ang masamang epekto nang partehang ito sa mas nakararaming mahihirap na barangay,” Alvarez’ statement said.
He said that no government leader or official can interfere with the use of the fund as it will be directly shared with the barangays.
“Ako po ay naniniwala na ang biyayang galing sa likas na yaman ay dapat pakinabangan ng lahat ng barangay at hindi lamang ng mga barangay kung saan matatagpuan ito. ‘Hating kapatid’ at ‘sharing ng mga blessings’ para sama-sama ang ating pag-unlad, walang iwanan,” he said.
Alvarez appealed to the people of Palawan to open their minds on this because the proposed amendments will ensure a better life for many who live in poverty in distant barangays.
Cynthia S. Del Rosario, one of the named petitioners of the complaint about the preliminary injunction against RA 11269, in an earlier interview questioned the constitutionality of Republic Act (R.A.) 11259 as it violates Article X of the Constitution or the Local Government provisions.
“RA 11259 needs to be assailed for several constitutional issues. The petitioners have taken the initiative to challenge RA 11259 by taking it to the highest court”, she said.
The plebiscite to ratify RA 11259 dividing Palawan into 3 provinces will push through on May 11 based on the latest resolution issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).