Third District Representative Gil Acosta Jr. moved to include the regionalization of Palawan in the proposed amendments to the Philippine Constitution.
The legislator proposed to declare the Province of Palawan into a separate region during the Committee on Constitutional Amendments’ meeting chaired by Cagayan de Oro City Second District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.
In a short video that Rep. Acosta posted on his social media account on Feb. 19, he explained that he was inspired by the move of Negros to make the island a separate region during the last meeting of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments.
“This representation would like also to include Section 2, Article 6 ‘The Inclusion of the Palawan Region’ because of Palawan now, being the fifth larger province in the Philippines…[if] the entire Philippines has 7,000 plus islands, 1,700 of those islands are within the islands of Palawan,” he told Rep. Rodriguez and his co-members of the committee.
Although he already prepared a presentation, he opted to go directly to the main point.
Acosta explained that there is an incoming plebiscite for splitting Palawan into three provinces to be conducted on May 11, 2020, and those proposed provinces are Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur.
The representative of the Third District of Palawan proudly shared that the province plays a big role in the economic progress of the Mimaropa region. He said that 50 percent income of the region actually comes from Palawan alone.
“As to income, 50 percent of the income of Mimaropa comes from Palawan province right now. Wala pa po ang aming share as to the national wealth that we will discuss later on because we are saddened by the decision of the Supreme Court that Palawan has no share in Malampaya [gas-to-power project],” he said.
Upon hearing Acosta’s contention regarding the proposal to create a Palawan Island Region, Rodriguez agreed to include the subject matter in the next deliberation.
A few years ago, prior to Gov. Jose Alvarez who is a keen supporter to make Palawan a separate region, several local leaders had already attempted to pass their proposals for the same reason, including former Gov. Baham Mitra, former First District Rep. Antonio Alvarez, and former Vice Gov. David Ponce de Leon.