House panel OKs proposed division of Maguindanao

A proposal to divide the province of Maguindanao into two has been approved by the House Committee on Local Government, a Maguindanaon lawmaker said Wednesday.

The committee approved the bill on the Creation of two provinces of Maguindanao, which is a consolidation of two earlier House bills, namely the Northern Maguindanao Province House Bill 4840 of Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Datu Roonie Q. Sinsuat Sr. and Southern Maguindanao Province House Bill 3405 of Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael G. Mangudadatu.

I would like to make it clear that the House of Representative approval on Tuesday for the division of Maguindanao is yet on the committee level, he said over radio dxMY here Wednesday.

Sinsuat said deliberations on the proposal began on Jan. 28, but asked the committee for a postponement so he and Mangudadatu could settle minor differences into their separate bills.

For the next two weeks we had enough time to consolidate our bills, Sinsuat said.

Mangudadatu said the proposal to divide the province has yet to pass the plenary for the committee report, followed by interpolation and debates on the proposition.

What is important is that we have arrived at a unanimous decision at the committee level to dive the province for faster development, Mangudadatu said in a separate interview by the Philippine News Agency here.

Under the proposal, the province, which has 36 towns, would be divided into Northern and Southern Maguindanao.

Northern Maguindanao would include 12 towns, mostly in the province's first district that includes Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Blah Sinsuat, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Upi, Kabuntalan Mother, Northern Kabuntalan, Parang, Buldon, Matanog, Barira, and Datu Sumagka (formerly Talitay).

Datu Odin Sinsuat town is the proposed capital of Northern Maguindanao.

On the other hand, Southern Maguindanao would comprise the towns of Ampatuan, Buluan, Datu Paglas, Datu Piang, Pagalungan, Shariff Aguak, South Upi, Sultan sa Barongis, Talayan, General S. K. Pendatun, Mamasapano, Datu Montawal (Pagagawan), Paglat, Guindulungan, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Rajah Buayan, Pandag, Mangudadatu, Datu Anggal Midtimbang (Talayan), Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Datu Salibo, and Shariff Saydona Mustapha.

Southern Maguindanao's proposed capital is in Buluan town.

Both Sinsuat and Mangudadatu said they earlier met with Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Sangki Mangudadatu and the mayors of the province and all have supported the proposal.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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