Palawan Vice Governor Dennis Socrates on Tuesday dismissed speculations he might push again for the division of Palawan if he wins the gubernatorial race in the coming local polls.
He said the outcome of the “3-in-1” proposal during the March plebiscite has convinced him to drop the idea of dividing Palawan as a growth strategy pushed by the current administration.
VG Socrates, in a side interview with reporters during Tuesday’s session of the provincial board, also said he is instead keen to adopt the approach of the city government to build satellite City Halls in remote areas in order to extend government services there.
“Para mapanatag na ang ating mga kababayan na ayaw sa 3 in 1. Ay kung sa akin lamang ay hindi na mangyayari ‘yon, wala nang pag-asa na mangyari ‘yon, hinding-hindi na,” he said.
Socrates, along with Governor Jose Alvarez, had actively campaigned for a Yes vote in the plebiscite that would have created three separate provinces from the existing singular province. The administration had pushed the idea, stating that the present size of the province makes it difficult to govern.
Socrates said he was recently asked what he thought about the city’s approach at creating satellite city halls.
“Natanong lang kahapon kaya sumagi sa isip ko ang ginagawa ng city government na mukhang magandang idea,” Socrates said.
He said he still believes it would have benefitted Palawan if the 3-in-1 proposal or Republic Act 11259 was ratified in the plebiscite.
“Maganda lang ‘yong idea na ganoon. Actually, iba pa rin kung may tatlong local government units, this will be an attempt to bring the capitol closer to the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also said that there is still no official list of candidates under their party for the next year’s national and local elections. Socrates last week already announced his bid to run for governor in the May 2022 local polls.
“Wala pa [line up kasi] medyo mahirap din lalo na ‘yong [sa] munisipyo kasi magco-convention pa ang partido. I think sa September 17 pero wala pa akong official notice, syempre kailangan manotify ang body,” Socrates said. (with reports from Patricia Laririt)