Regional Updates (03/09/21)

Senate OK’s bill dividing Maguindanao into 2 provinces

THE Senate on Tuesday passed on third and final reading the bill that will divide Maguindanao province into two. With 22 affirmative votes and zero negative votes and abstention, the senators approved House Bill No. 6413, which creates the provinces of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur. Senator Francis N. Tolentino, chair of the committee on local government and the bill’s sponsor, said the split will improve the delivery of government services and the people of Maguindanao “will be empowered to reach their aspirations for the region.” Under the proposed measure, Maguindanao del Norte will be composed of the towns of Datu Odin Sinsuat, which will become the capital, Barira, Buldon, Datu Blah Sinsuat,, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Northern Kabuntalan, Parang, North Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, and Talitay. Maguindanao del Sur, on the other hand, will be composed of Buluan as capital, Ampatuan, 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. The House of Representatives approved the measure on third reading on Jun. 1, 2020. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

Island provinces in the north, south start vaccination for health workers

VACCINE doses have been delivered by the military in the more remote parts of the country and inoculation has started among health workers. The chief doctors of the provincial hospitals in the island provinces of Batanes and Basilan were the first to receive their areas’ initial Sinovac allocation to boost vaccine confidence among other frontliners and the public. Chief of Hospital Jeffrey Antony T. Canceran in Batanes, the northernmost island province, led the vaccination for medical workers on Tuesday in two hospitals and other frontliners managing the quarantine facilities. In Basilan, located southwest of mainland Mindanao in the south, Basilan General Hospital Director Sitti Nurussami Casali-Amilhasan received her first dose Monday along with other health workers. The Basilan government, in a statement, said in Filipino, “The high confidence of each of our health workers is one of the solutions in encouraging people to get vaccinated.”

Tagum City opens Cultural Center with 1,000-seater theater, heritage museum

THE Tagum City Historical and Cultural Center, with its 1,000-seat Tagumpay Theater that is a first in Davao Region, was officially inaugurated Mar. 7 in time for the city’s 23rd founding anniversary. The center also has a heritage museum, historical gallery, and library, which will all open to the public on Apr. 1 with health protocols in place. Mayor Allan L. Rellon, who delivered his 7th State of the City Address at the Tagumpay Theater, said the capital city of Davao del Norte continues to be “very strong” despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

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