Keep Palawan One

March 16, 2021

I am delighted to hear about the news that Palaweños has rejected the proposal to split it into three separate provinces. I hope the voters do the same to those who sponsored it in the next elections. Never forget who pushed for hacking the great province into several parts.

Splitting provinces into several parts is an old trick that politicians pull out of the bag every now and again. Yeah, it’s for economic growth benefits, right? That it’s for our own good and it’s for our future. Yey. These people still think we’re fools.

We need leaders there that have creative problem-solving skills and political will. We have many provinces that have been hacked, most are still not progressing—madami backwards pa din. That right there tells us that the split didn’t solve anything. In fact, for some, it achieved the opposite. But still, so many of us still buy into it.

Well, splitting provinces creates more governors and congressmen. So I guess the positive take here is that it creates employment? (LOL) We have more laws than we require. We don’t need more laws. We need enforcement. We don’t need more politicians.

Let me share a part of Nick Joaquin’s essay, the Heritage of Smallness, where he wrote about this splitting like atom-like behavior when confronted by a great challenge:

But Philippines provinces are microscopic compared to an American state like, say, Texas, where the local government isn’t heard complaining it can’t efficiently handle so vast an area. We, on the other hand, make a confession of character whenever we split up a town or province to avoid having to cope, admitting that, on that scale, we can’t be efficient; we are capable only of the small. The decentralization and barrio-autonomy movement express our craving to return to the one unit of society we feel adequate to the barangay, with its 30 to a hundred families. Anything larger intimidates. We would deliberately limit ourselves to the small performance. This attitude, an immemorial one, explains why we’re finding it so hard to become a nation, and why our pagan forefathers could not even imagine the task. Not E Pluribus, Unum is the impulse in our culture but Out of many, fragments. Foreigners had to come and unite our land for us; the labor was far beyond our powers. Great was the King of Sugbu, but he couldn’t even control the tiny isle across his bay. Federation is still not even an idea for the tribes of the North, and the Moro sultanates behave like our political parties: they keep splitting off into particles.

I couldn’t put it any better.

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