Saturday, November 15, 2008

by Momoy Cardenas

Please read....QUEZON UPDATE
PGMA did not approve law dividing Quezon

LUCENA CITY, Quezon – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did not approve Republic Act No. 9495 which provides for the division of Quezon province into two and the creation of Quezon del Sur.
RA 9495 lapsed into law on Sept. 7, 2007 without the signature of the President, in accordance with Article VI, Section 27 (1) of the Constitution.
Concerned residents of Quezon said no province-wide public hearings were held when the proposed law was deliberated in both houses of Congress to create Quezon del Sur. which shall be composed of the municipalities of Agdangan, Buenavista, Catanauan, General Luna, Macalelon, Mulanay, Padre Burgos,Pitogo, San Andres, San Francisco, San Narciso, Unisan, Alabat, Atimonan, Calauag, Guinayangan, Gumaca, Lopez, Perez, Plaridel, Quezon, and Tagkawayan.
They also pointed out that there was no specific provision in the law to create Quezon del Norte and thus “it is flawed and unconstitutional”. The law merely renamed the mother province as Quezon del Norte to be composed of the cities of Lucena and Tayabas, and the towns of Burdeos, General Nakar, Infanta, Jomalig, Lucban, Mauban, Pagbilao, Panukulan, Patnanungan, Polillo, Real,Sampaloc,Candelareia, Dolores, San Antonio and Sariaya.
Concerned Quezonians emphasized that the law proponents “would like to convert Quezon, a giant province as it is now, into a pygmy.”
They noted that Quezon, then Tayabas province in 1907, was the largest and richest province in the entire archipelago when Marinduque was still its sub-province. Marinduque was separated from Tayabas and became an independent province in 1920.
Before the sub-province of Aurora was separated from Quezon during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos, Quezon was the longest province and had an area of 11,946.2 square kilometers or 1,194,620 hectares.
Now, Quezon has an area of 8,706.6 square kilometers or 870,660 hectares. If Quezon del Sur, with an aggregate area of 418,345 hectares, would be created, the remaining area of the mother province of Quezon would merely be 452,315 hectares!
‘’ Quezon leaders are destroying our province for ‘gerrymandering’ - for petty political interest to covet political control of the province. Don’t they realize that bigness is an asset – politically and economically? Moreover, if Quezon del Sur becomes a province, it would be the poorest province in the country because its proposed towns have now only P45 million in realty taxes, ‘’ an Atimonan resident said.
A journalist from Lucena commented: “”We really never learn. When Aurora was still a sub-province of Quezon, our province was always the apple of the eyes of presidential wannabes because of its bigness. We did not only lose our land area, but also Manuel L. Quezon to Aurora when it became an independent province. Because Baler, the birthplace of Quezon, belongs to Aurora. Likewise, If Quezon del Sur becomes a reality, the mother province can no longer claim the late nationalist Lorenzo Tanada as its native hero because he was a native son of Gumaca which would be included in the proposed Quezon del Sur”.
( Cel. 0920-527-7501. A native of Lucena City, Mr. Cardenas has been a Correspondent of Manila Bulletin, covering Quezon and Laguna, for the past 23 years. He was formerly Managing Editor of Quezon Times and Associate Editor of the defunct Star Bulletin in Lucena City.)

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