Palawan Stays Intact, 'No' to Split Wins in Plebiscite

Plebiscite held during pandemic.
Photo/s: Alana Harris via Unsplash

Palawan stays intact after the province in a plebiscite voted no to spitting it into three, Comelec said Tuesday.

Sixty percent of voters turned up for the plebiscite, which made the Philippines one of the few democracies in the world to hold elections during a pandemic, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.

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The plebiscite was borne out of a House bill that sought to establish Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental and Palawan del Sur, claiming it would make the distribution of resources more equitable.

Palawan has nearly 800,000 people, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, roughly half the number of people in the city of Manila.

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However, in terms of size, it is the fifth biggest island in the country and the biggest island to hold just one province. Islands geographically larger than Palawan, like Negros and Samar, have long been halved.

Palawan's land area is roughly 22 times the size of Metro Manila. It's snake-like shape brings its northern tip close to Luzon and it's southern end close to Mindanao.

Based on Congress' proposal, Palawan del Norte will include the tourism hotbeds of Coron and El Nido. Palawan Oriental will include Amanpulo and the emerging destination, San Vicente. Palawan del Sur will include the mining areas of the south.

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