Tuesday, November 18, 2008

History of Province of Davao del Norte

The Province of Davao del Norte, together with the provinces of Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental were created from the Greater Davao Province by virtue of the bill authored by then Congressman Lorenzo S. Sarmiento, Sr., which was passed into law and became known as R.A. 4867 dated 8 May 1967.

The three provinces simultaneously celebrate their anniversary every 1st of July.When it was created, Davao del Norte was composed of thirteen (13) municipalities, namely: Asuncion, Babak, Compostela, Kapalong, Mabini, Mawab, Monkayo, Nabunturan, Panabo, Pantukan, Samal, Sto. Tomas and Tagum. Six (6) additional municipalities were created as of May 6, 1970.

These were Carmen, Kaputian, Maco, Montevista, New Bataan and New Corella. As of 1996, the province had a total of twenty-two (22) municipalities with the creation of San Vicente (now Laak) in 1979, Maragusan in 1988 and Talaingod in 1990.

The first Governor, Hon. Verulo C. Boiser was appointed by the President. He served the Province for ten years, which was from July 1, 1967 to July 7, 1977, two years as appointed Governor and two terms as elected Governor.Republic Act No. 6430 enacted on June 17, 1972 renamed the Province of Davao del Norte to Davao Province.

The second Provincial Chief Executive was Governor Gregorio R. Dujali, who was given a presidential appointment when the first Governor stepped down from the gubernatorial position on July 7, 1977. Like his predecessor, Governor Dujali also served Davao Province as the appointed governor for one year and as an elective governor for two terms until March 31, 1986.On February 25,1986, Her Excellency, Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino was installed as President of the Philippines by virtue of the “People Power” otherwise known as the EDSA Revolution.

Davao Province was among the local government units that experienced a change of officials.Hon. Prospero S. Amatong was appointed as the OIC-Governor of Davao Province on April 4, 1986, and on February 3, 1988, Governor Prospero S. Amatong took his oath as the newly elected governor of Davao Province.

On January 30, 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos signed Republic Act No.8470 creating the Province of Compostela Valley out of Davao Province. Davao Province was again renamed Davao del Norte since it continued to be officially referred to as such in most official documents including the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Other historical events that transpired in Davao del Norte together with the creation of Compostela Valley were: the enactment of Republic Act No. 8471, creating the Island Garden City of Samal comprising the former municipalities of Babak, Samal and Kaputian; Republic Act No. 8472 converting Tagum Municipality into Tagum City, the seat of the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte Province; and Republic Act 8473 creating the Municipality of Braulio E. Dujali called out from the municipalities of Carmen and Panabo. In this turn of events, the province had a political composition of seven municipalities and two cities with 223 barangays.

The term of Governor Prospero S. Amatong ended on March 26, 1998 when he took his Oath of Office as Governor of the newly created province of Compostela Valley on the same day. The election period of 1998 necessitated the appointment of interim provincial officials headed by Hon. Anecito M. Solis as the Acting Governor.

Hon. Rodolfo P. del Rosario was elected and sworn into office as the first Governor of the new Davao del Norte Province on July 1, 1998.He served the Dabaonon people for six years, until his temporary retirement from local politics in 2004 when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed him, Presidential Adviser on New Government Centers.

The del Rosario era gave impetus to the adoption of the Minimum Basic Needs (MBN) approach by the Provincial Government as a new social services paradigm. Within it framework are program components that meet the most basic, and the most immediate needs of the people: livelihood through Technology and Livelihood Development Center and the Davao del Norte Investment and Promotion Program; health through the Medicare para sa Masa, and the opening of Carmen District Hospital; social reconstruction through Women’s Center for battered women and single parents, and Luntiang Paraiso for drug dependents; youth education through the Provincial Scholarship Program and the Madrasah Schools for muslim youth; agriculture assistance through the Binhian sa Barangay; youth employment through Summer Employment of Students (SPES) program; among others.

Its remarkable implementation has won for the province, the Galing Pook Awards in 2002 conferred by no less than Pres. Arroyo in MalacañangThe economic services were also anchored on MBN approach. These included the Infrastucture Project for the Enhancement of Rural Productivity (IPERP), livestock production and animal dispersal, the community-based Forest Resource Management Project, the Coastal Resource Management Project, and the Upland Developement Programme.

Through the Davao Integrated Development Program (DIDP), various farm-to-market roads were opened, and numerous Upland Model Villages were realized.On March 31, 2001 the Municipality of Panabo was converted into a city by virtue of Republic Act 1015. Honorable Congressman Antonio R. Floirendo, Jr. sponsored the bill creating the City of Panabo. Subsequently, on March 15, 2004, a new municipality was born. Republic Act No. 9265 created the Municipality of San Isidro, the eighth municipality of Davao del Norte.

This municipality compises 6 barangays culled out from the Municipality of Kapalong and 7 barangays culled out from the Municipality of Asuncion. This brought the administrative composition of Davao del Norte to eight (8) municipalities and three (3) cities.

Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario served for two terms only. His decision not to run for re-election paved the way for Hon. Gelacio P. Gementiza, Mayor of Tagum City to serve as governor of Davao del Norte for one term that is, from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2007.
Due to popular demand from various sectors, Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario once again took his bid and won the 2007 elections with his program of government, the RDR WHEELS - conceived to oil his administration into action and committed service.