By Ben Rosario
After more than 15 years, residents of 12 barangay units in Saranggani’s Malungon town may finally get their wish of becoming township of the proposed Malandag municipality.
This developed after the House Committee on Local Governments unanimously endorsed the enactment of House Bill (H.B.) 1013 seeking to create the municipality of Malandag in Saranggani.
The principal author, Saranggani Rep. Rogelio D. Pacquiao, said H.B. 1013 is a bill he refiled after his predecessors failed in their attempts to seek its enactment.
H.B. 1013 was originally filed during the 12th Congress by then Rep. Erwin L. Chiongbian.
Senator Manny Pacquiao, the incumbent congressman’s elder brother, refiled the measure during his two terms as Saranggani lawmaker in the 15th and 16th Congresses.
“Recognizing the value of this past legislative proposal, this representation refiles this measure with the fervent hope that the creation of the Municipality of Malandag will uplift the lives and well-being of its people,” said Rep. Pacquiao.
He added: “There’s a huge chance for success now. The committee acted on the measure this early.”
In filing the bill, the current Saranggani congressman said the proposed Malandag town “meets all the requirements set forth in the Local Government Code.”
The proposed municipality will be carved out of Malungon town which has a current population of 95,044 and an area of 750.92 square kilomters.
Malandag will be composed of Malungon barangay units, namely: Malandag Proper, Alkikan, Atla-e, Banahaw, B’laan, Datal Batong, Datal Bila, Datal Tampal, Kibala, Kiblat, Malabod and Nagpan.
“The people of the 12 barangays have been clamoring for the creationof a separate municipality to improve and develop their social and economic condition,” explained Pacquiao.
He stressed: “The creation of a new municipality will also enable the 12 barangays to chart their own development plans and programs to promote public health, safety and general welfare.”