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DavOr, Surigao Sur finally settle decades-old boundary dispute

The Provinces of Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur have settled their 28-year boundary dispute.

In a joint session of the two provincial governments here Tuesday, they decided to come up with a joint ordinance that details their political boundaries in the towns of Boston for Davao Oriental and Lingig for Surigao del Sur.

The joint ordinance becomes the basis of the agreement of the two provinces which, in 2015, agreed in principle to resolve their despute.

“The new political boundary shall be drawn according to the output map utilizing the coordinates in delineating the area to be ceded to the Province of Davao Oriental. Provided, however, in the delineation process, the existing build-up areas belonging to Barangay Rajah Cabungsuan of Lingig shall be excluded in the compromise agreement,” a provision in the ordinance reads.

Based on the press statement from Davao Oriental, part of a property which used to belong to Surigao del Sur “will now become part of the municipality of Boston (in Davao Oriental),” explained Davao Oriental Vice Governor Niño Sotero L. Uy Jr. explained.

“However, only non-build-up areas or those areas without existing structures or communities will be delineated to Davao Oriental while those areas with existing structures and development will remain as part of Lingig, Surigao del Sur, thus, assuring that there will be no confusion in the part of the communities settling in the areas,” added Mr. Uy.

The statement added that of the 6,000-hectare area that was a subject of the dispute, 2,600 hectares will become part of Davao Oriental.

As part of the implication of the settlement of the dispute, added Uy, the province is expecting an increase in its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). “There will be adjustments in the IRA subject to computation by the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Finance. But definitely there will be an increase in the IRA for Davao Oriental,” he said.

The dispute started when Surigao del Sur questioned the authority of Davao Oriental after its governor then, Rosalind Y Lopez, issued several small-scale mining permits for an area in village in Boston.

It was during the time of then governors Corazon N. Malanyaon of Davao Oriental and Johnny T. Pimentel of Surigao del Sur when they decided to settle the dispute during their joint session in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Both officials eventually became members of Congress.

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