TAGBILARAN CITY – The idea of creating or transforming Bohol into two provinces hatched by former Carmen Mayor Che Toribio delos Reyes drew mixed reactions. Former Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Neri Lim expressed support of the idea. But provincial administrator Alfonos Damalerio II outrightly dismissed it, saying in news report that nobody favors it. The news report said that “Hinoon aminado ang provincial administrator nga qualified na ang Bohol nga dugangan og usa ka distrito o tungaon sa duha ka probinsiya apan moagi pa kini og daghang diskusyon.”
But for then Mayor Lim it’s about time to do this. He said in his weekly radio program that the idea won’t erase the identity of the province. He said that in the coming months he is set to disperse information about this concept of carving another province in Bohol. This is purposely to let people involved in public debate on its advantages and disadavantages. Delos Reyes earlier raised “controversy” by proposing to carve another province out of the existing Bohol. She said that it’s about time to give Bohol “more progress, management and development.”
Carving a separate province to “maximize the resources.” She said that such proposal would be to create something like eastern Bohol with Tagbilaran as its capital and western Bohol with Ubay town as the capital. But for now, it should be studied carefully, she said. The 47 towns would be divided to a number of municipalities proportionate to the population or income that qualifies a new province under the law, she said.
Carving a new province is possible by the act of Congress after series of public hearings and consultation. Bohol said to be the tenth largest island in the country is already populated by more than 1.2 million. With such population, it could be entitled to four or five congressional districts with at least 250,000 people in every district based on the law. But it has still three congressional districts. First and second (districts) each has 14 municipalities and the third, 19 towns. Tagbilaran City, as the provincial capital, belongs to first district.