COTABATO CITY: Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu on Wednesday lauded the Senate for approving on third and final reading a bill that would divide the province into two.
Mangudadatu said House of Representatives Bill 6413 – sponsored by Senator Francis Tolentino, chair of the Committee on Local Government – seeks to divide Maguindanao province into Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur.
“We are glad our counterpart in the Senate considered the bill,” he said in a phone interview. “It has been a long dream for many Maguindanaons. This is not for political accommodation but to fast-track (the) delivery of government services.”
The Senate version of the bill was approved on third and final reading on Tuesday, Mangudadatu said, adding that the measure was co-sponsored by senators Miguel Zubiri and Bong Revilla.
If enacted into law, Maguindanao del Norte will be composed of the towns of Barira, Buldon, Datu Blah Sinsuat, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Northern Kabuntalan, Parang, North Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, and Talitay.
Maguindanao del Sur will consist of Ampatuan, Buluan, Datu Abdulla Sangki, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Datu Montawal, Datu Paglas, Datu Piang, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun, Guindulungan, Mamasapano, Mangudadatu, Pagalungan, Paglat, Pandag, Rajah Buayan, Sharif Aguak, Sharif Saydona Mustafa, Sultan sa Barongis, Talayan, and South Upi.
Buluan would remain as the capital town of Maguindanao del Sur, while Datu Odin Sinsuat would become the capital of Maguindanao del Norte.
Based on the 2015 population count, Maguindanao has a population of 1,173,933 and an estimated average annual regular income of PHP714.56 million, as certified by the Bureau of Local Government Finance.
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