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PIA Press Release
2007/10/15

Kalinga's Rizal town desires to join Cagayan

TABUK CITY, Kalinga (15 October) -- Residents of Rizal in Kalinga would want their town to become the 29th municipality of the province of Cagayan.

In their petition floated to the barangays, they averred that it has been their long desire to be part of Cagayan province. They mentioned peace and order, development neglect and hampered trade and commerce the main reasons of their planned disintegration from Kalinga.

A copy of the unsigned petition obtained expressed the effects of the bodong practice among natives not beneficial to the 83% lowlanders of Rizal. It alleged that the system is being used to perpetuate injustice and harassment to the lowlanders, land grabbing and squatting.

It also stated that the municipality's 15 barangays are neglected and left un-attended by the provincial government. They also see that with Rizal nearer to Tuguegarao City and is adjacent to the municipalities of Enrile, Solana and Tuao of Cagayan, it is in Tuguegarao where the people of Rizal transact business and other commercial activities.

It added that the people of Rizal are afraid to go to Tabuk due to rampant hold ups and highway robberies along the Rizal-Tabuk road.

"That its separation from Kalinga province would guarantee social justice and development equity where people live in peace and harmony," the petition states.

However, the provincial leadership is adamant on the plan defending it will not serve the greater good of the people of Rizal and the province. The reasons given if true do not merit an endorsement since they are internal problems which are being attended to by the provincial government and concerned agencies.

Before the planned petition could become an issue, Governor Floydelia Diasen visited Rizal last week and met with members of the Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) of Rizal to explain the advantages of maintaining the status quo and explaining the effects of their move.

Diasen told ABC members that while it is their right to desire for transfer, it will take a long process. "It will just hamper the smooth flow of services and development to Rizal," she said appealing for them instead to work together and look for solutions on the problems.

Section 441 of the Local Government Code states that "A municipality maybe created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered only by an Act of Congress and subject to the approval, by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Comelec in the local government unit directly affected. Except as may otherwise be provided in the said Act, the plebiscite shall be held within 120 days from the date of its effectivity."

Diasen informed ABC members that her administration is not remiss on its job to help attend to municipal LGU problems. She said peace and order stability is her main focus and assured that every town will have its equal share from the 20% development fund of the province.

With Diasen during the meeting were Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Randy Bulwayan, DILG Provincial Director Francisco Gamatero and Board Member Fernando Abay, who helped explain the difficulty of the separation move. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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