Cover Story


Then a dark horse, N. Samar now a first-class province

Jun 26, 2024, 1:10 AM
Joyce Kahano-Alpino

Joyce Kahano-Alpino


Once one of the poorest now joins the elite list of top provinces.

For years the province of Northern Samar had been synonymous to insurgency and poverty.

Now, Northern Samar folks prove they are beyond the negative perception that the province had always been associated with: just another impoverished place and favorite holding area of rebels.

Income-Wise, First Class

During the first State of the Province Address (SOPA) last June 17, Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan announced the province’s increased income surpassing the threshold set under the law.

This feat had led the province to finally be recognized as one of the first class provinces in Eastern Visayas alongside the province of Leyte and Samar.

In his speech, Ongchuan shared that Northern Samar’s average annual income reached almost P2 billion in the past three years.

An income that is way above the P1.5 billion threshold to be considered as a first class province under Republic Act 11964 or the “Automatic Income Classification of Local Government Units Act” which Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed in October 2023.

Northern Samar obtained an income of P1.8 billion in 2021, P2.3 billion in 2022, and P2.1 billion in 2023.

As of this writing, Nortehanons are eagerly waiting for the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) to be released for the third class province to legally be recognized as a first class province.

A Late Bloomer?

Next year, the province will celebrate its senior year at its 60th.

Governor Ongchuan said that they might be a late bloomer, but assured his constituents that the province is doing better than before.

“Maaring ngayon pa lang tayo pausbong, umuunlad, at napapansin kung kelan magiging 60 yrs old na ang Northern Samar. Maaaring sabihin na tayo ay “late bloomer” pero ako po ay lubos na naniniwala na magiging mas matagumpay tayo dahil naipakita natin na mahal natin ang Ibabao (Northern Samar).”

A Dark Horse

Jumping from poverty, the announcement delighted and surprised many who considered the sleeping province a dark horse who beats all odds.

“Tigda ngahaw. Waray man la mag agi second class. A proof nga there is no excuses kun karuyagon talaga,” a teacher from Tacloban told OpinYon 8.

Meanwhile, others were quick to compare “Norte” to its nearby province, Eastern Samar.

“Partida waray pa tun mining. Ano man Eastern Samar, what's your excuse?” a journalist said in a discussion.

A Role Model

How Ibabao was able to achieve this feat, locals said it is in sincerity of the local government unit to actually help its people before their own interests.

If only other provinces would do the same, Eastern Visayas will not be left behind considering the vast potential of the region waiting to be utilized.

#WeTakeAStand #OpinYon #OpinYonCoverStory #OpinYonNews

We take a stand
OpinYon News logo

Designed and developed by Simmer Studios.

© 2024 OpinYon News. All rights reserved.