Dividing Palawan: What’s at stake?


ABS-CBN Investigative and Analysis Group

Posted at Mar 12 2021 02:57 PM | Up to date as of Mar 12 2021 10:24 PM

It’s lastly taking place. After being postponed for almost a 12 months due to the pandemic, the plebiscite that may divide Palawan into three provinces is about to occur tomorrow, March 13. It’s stated to be a check case for a way the Presidential elections subsequent 12 months will probably be performed in a pandemic. 

However greater than being a check case, lots is at stake within the division of the most important province within the nation when it comes to land space. Palawan has almost 15,000 sq. kilometers of land space. The provincial inhabitants, nevertheless, is lower than one million. 

Mainland Palawan stretches 500 kilometers from its northern tip to its southern tip, “nearly the stretch of travelling from Bicol Area to the Ilocos Area,” in accordance with the explanatory word of Home Invoice 7413. 

Proponents of the division say that it’s going to shatter the normal center-periphery growth sample the place every part emanates from the capitol in Puerto Princesa, making it troublesome for assets to succeed in far-flung areas, particularly island municipalities. Breaking down the province would imply three provincial governments, every with its personal Inner Income Allotment, set of leaders, and a seat of presidency that’s extra accessible to the municipalities. This, they are saying, will quick monitor progress.

Those that oppose the division say that the discount of the provincial authorities into three smaller native authorities models will make them extra susceptible to exterior safety threats and exploitation by personal companies within the space’s huge mineral and different pure assets. 

Not all areas of Palawan are created equal. There are areas which have already gained headway due to investments made by previous nationwide and native governments, equivalent to nationwide roads or tourism growth. Those that have been uncared for by earlier governments then again, will stay struggling. Whereas some areas are wealthy in pure assets, others usually are not. 

Right here, we take a better have a look at the configuration of the three Palawan provinces ought to the sure votes win within the plebiscite. Will there be winners and losers in Palawan’s division?

PALAWAN DEL NORTE: most developed vacationer locations, largest public airport exterior Puerto Princesa Metropolis

On this province will belong Palawan’s hottest vacationer locations equivalent to Coron, El Nido, and Calauit Safari. 

The recognition of those locations to native and international vacationers alike is largely because of the presence of the most important public airport exterior of Puerto Princesa Metropolis: the Francisco Reyes or Busuanga airport. 

After the division, this province can have the fewest municipalities, with solely six of Palawan’s 23 municipalities, in comparison with the eight and 9 municipalities that its neighboring provinces can have. 

Whereas it’s smallest in dimension, it’s not the smallest when it comes to inhabitants. Its 253,000 residents account for some 27% of the overall inhabitants of complete Palawan, primarily based on the 2021 projected inhabitants by the Division of Well being. That is greater than Palawan Oriental’s 211,000 residents. 

It’s likewise within the center when it comes to poverty incidence. 5 of its six municipalities have poverty incidence beneath 30% in accordance with the 2015 Small Space Poverty Estimates by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Which means that lower than 3 in each 10 residents are poor. Just one city, Linapacan, has a poverty incidence above 30%. That is nonetheless approach beneath the poverty degree of the poorest municipalities situated in Palawan del Sur (extra on this within the part beneath). 

By way of infrastructure, its mixed paved nationwide highway size is 254 kilometers, second solely to Palawan del Sur’s 476 kms. 

PALAWAN ORIENTAL: lowest poverty incidence, two public airports, however lagging when it comes to nationwide paved roads

This potential province has the fewest poor people as a result of 4 of its municipalities have the bottom poverty incidence in complete Palawan: Cuyo, Magsaysay, Agutaya, and Roxas. There are solely 1-2 poor people in these cities out of each 10 residents. 

Even in Cagayancillo, the city with essentially the most poor residents in Palawan Oriental, the poverty incidence is simply 32%, which remains to be approach beneath that of the poorest municipalities situated in Palawan del Sur. The protected space of Tubbataha Reefs Pure Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, is a part of this municipality. 

The Lengthy Seashore Space of San Vicente city has been chosen as one of many first Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zones, of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. This system goals to develop an space right into a sustainable tourism vacation spot and enhance the competitiveness of its merchandise.

The San Vicente airport turned operational in 2017 and now caters to business flights, boosting native tourism even additional. 

This province additionally has one other smaller airport within the island municipality of Cuyo, the place the luxurious Amanpulo resort is situated, however the Cuyo airport solely accommodates chartered flights. 

Regardless of all this, Palawan Oriental lags behind the opposite two Palawan provinces when it comes to nationwide roads. It solely has 86 kilometers of nationwide paved roads, all situated within the capital city of Roxas. By comparability, the paved nationwide roads within the two mining cities of Quezon (105.4 kms) and Rizal (105.1 kms) in Palawan del Sur are even longer than that of Palawan Oriental’s. 

Nationwide roads are necessary for an space’s financial growth. The state of nationwide roads is claimed to be among the many indicators of an space’s progress. Nationwide major roads join main cities. Nationwide secondary roads, in the meantime, immediately join cities and provincial capitals inside the identical area. In addition they join main ports, ferry terminals, airports, and main authorities infrastructure to nationwide major roads. There are additionally nationwide tertiary roads underneath Division of Public Works and Highways that carry out an area perform.

In contrast, provincial, metropolis, municipal, and barangay roads are underneath the native authorities. 

Palawan Oriental has the smallest inhabitants dimension among the many three potential provinces, accounting for less than 20% of the overall inhabitants of Palawan. Its 211,000 residents are lower than half of Palawan del Sur’s. It additionally has the fewest registered voters.

PALAWAN DEL SUR – presence of economic mining websites, however residents stay poor. Longest paved highway community, largest inhabitants among the many three potential provinces. 

All eight Mineral Manufacturing Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) in Palawan are situated in 5 (out of the 9) municipalities within the potential province of Palawan del Sur, in accordance with information from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Division of Setting and Pure Assets. 

The 2 business mining operations in complete Palawan are likewise situated there: Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. in Bataraza and Berong Nickel Corp. in Quezon. These two municipalities are amongst these with the best poverty incidence in complete Palawan, with some 4 in 10 residents in these cities categorised as poor. 

Apart from Bataraza and Quezon, two different municipalities in Palawan del Sur belong to the underside poorest municipalities in complete Palawan: the municipality of Rizal, the place 4 in 10 residents are poor, and Balabac, the place half of all residents are thought-about poor, in accordance with PSA’s 2015 Small Space Poverty Estimates. 

Kalayaan municipality, comprised of a bunch of islands with some 200 residents situated within the West Philippine Sea, can also be a part of Palawan del Sur. 

Palawan del Sur has the longest paved nationwide highway community among the many three potential provinces with a mixed complete size of 476 kilometers. That is 1.87 occasions longer than that of Palawan del Norte and greater than 5 occasions longer than that of Palawan Oriental. 

It has essentially the most municipalities with 9 out of the 23 Palawan municipalities. It additionally accounts for greater than half of the complete inhabitants of Palawan. Its 486,000 residents are double that of Palawan del Norte and greater than double that of Palawan Oriental. 

The cities of Bataraza, Brooke’s Level, and Narra are among the many municipalities with essentially the most registered voters in complete Palawan. Palawan del Sur has by far essentially the most registered voters out of the three potential Palawan provinces. 


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