Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit www.mindanews.com for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press (www.atongpress.ning.com) for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Updates: On dividing a province

Every province in the island of Mindanao had been divided geo-politically, except for Bukidnon. This land-locked province with a population of around 1.1 million from two cities and 20 municipalities, originally was a sub-province of Agusan, then Misamis. It officially became the Province of Bukidnon in 1917.

Since the 1950s to the creation of the Province of Compostela Valley in 1998, provinces around Mindanao had been sub-divided for a number of reasons. One reason, of course, is increase in population. Another, is governance, including issues of management and proximity among other things.

Bukidnon remains undivided. But this is challenged by House Bill No. 4834 filed by Bukidnon 3rd district Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri, son of Bukidnon governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. But Bukidnon 1st district Rep. Nereus Acosta and his group has blocked the move.

Heared at the House in 2005 and by a Senate committee chaired by Sen. Alfredo Lim in April this year, the move was reportedly returned to the Province of Bukidnon for further consultation.

There are serious political debates and movements around Bukidnon about this proposal. Already, Don Carlos, a town in the southern part of the province was reportedly chosen via a plebiscite to be the new capital of the proposed Bukidnon del Sur province.

But the proponents were accused to have railroaded the process of consultation in favor of political preservation. However, accordingly, the same could also be said against the proposal's opponents.

As of now, the discussions are on-going, although Rep. Acosta told this blogger in April that the Senate move to return the proposal for further consultation was viewed as a blow.

As of blog time, no updates were obtained from the camp of Rep. Zubiri.

Information spread about this concern. As they come and go, the need for updates is underlined. Please check here for an initial read on the matter. The information is taken from the official Journal of the House of Representatives. The discussion between representatives Acosta and Zubiri at a House plenary is at the middle part of the material.

Updates from the minutes of the April Senate hearing would be uploaded soon. (Photos by Bobby Timonera: Mt. Kitanglad and Kaamulan Festival) Post your comments, suggestions and questions.

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