Palaweños reject division of province

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    PALAWAN will remain as one province after Palaweños voted to reject the proposal to divide it into three provinces during the March 13 plebiscite conducted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

    At the conclusion of the three-day canvassing proceedings in Puerto Princesa City, the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) yesterday proclaimed the rejection of the proposal under Republic Act No 11259.

    “On the basis of the foregoing, we hereby proclaim to ratify the division of the Province of Palawan pursuant to RA 11259 was rejected and disapproved on the basis of the votes cast in the Province of Palawan on March 13, 2021,” said the PBOC.

    The PBOC was able to canvass the results from 22 out of the 23 municipalities that participated in the plebiscite.

    The partial and official tally of the plebiscite showed the “No” votes with 172,304, while “Yes” got 122,223 votes.

    The proclamation was done after oppositors made a motion to terminate the canvassing proceedings despite the Certificate of Canvass from Kalayaan Island still encountering transportation problems.

    This was seconded by the proponents of the division of Palawan.

    “In case the remaining Certificate of Canvass will no longer affect the proclamation, the PBOC resolve to proclaim the winning number of votes in connection with the March 13, 2021 plebiscite,” said the PBOC.

    Kalayaan Island only has a total of 281 registered voters.

    Sans the Kalayaan Island results, the Palawan plebiscite had a voter turnout of 60 percent after 297,728 of the 490,264 registered voters cast their votes.

    “We would like to congratulate the voters for participating actively in this plebiscite. Based on the estimates, we have achieved a 60 percent voter turnout,” said Elections Commissioner Antonio Kho in an interview.

    RA11259 proposed that the province of Palawan be divided into three provinces, namely Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur.