A member of the House of Representatives has filed House Bill 3021 seeking to convert the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay along with 25 other capital towns into component cities.
Rep. Wilter Palma III (1D, Zamboanga Sibugay), in his explanatory note, pointed out that the province is one of the “26 provinces without any component cities, independent component cities or highly urbanized cities within its territorial jurisdiction, and their capitals remain to be mere towns or municipalities.”
Ipil, the capital of Zamboanga Sibugay, has remained a town 18 years after the province was founded.
Palma said, “upgrading our capital town to city status is crucial in stimulating economic growth and development.”
Converting the capital towns into cities, he argued, will “give them access to other incentives that only those with city status may enjoy.”
The provinces without cities are: Batanes, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, Siquijor, Biliran, Northern Samar, Zamboanga Sibugay, Camiguin, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Sarangani, Dinagat Islands, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Abra, Apayao, and Ifugao.
Citing a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Palma said, “most of these 26 provinces belong to regions with considerably high poverty incidence.”
He said it is high time for the town of Ipil along with other capital towns to become cities. (Antonio Manaytay)