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About Southern Leyte


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« on: September 18, 2013, 10:25:06 pm »

Southern Leyte is one of the six provinces of Eastern Visayas or Region VIII. Canigao Channel bound it on the north by Leyte province; on the east by the Pacific Ocean; on the south by Mindanao Sea; and on the west the Canigao Channel. It covers about one-fourth (1/4) of the island of Leyte. It has 19 municipalities.

Four islands and islets are within the territorial jurisdiction of Southern Leyte: Panaon, the only island linked to the mainland by a bridge, the historic island municipality of Limasawa which is the site of the first Christian Mass in the Far East, and the islets of San Pedro and San Pablo in Hinunangan.

Southern Leyte has a total land area of 173,480 hectares or 1,734.8 square kilometers equivalent to about 8.1% of the total land area of Eastern Visayas.

HISTORY

Even before the fall of the Spaniards to the Americans on August 13, 1898, a Western Leyte a Court of First Instance had been established. There was the office of "Promoter Fiscal" equivalent to the Provincial Fiscal and the office of "Administrador de Hacienda" equivalent to the Provincial Treasurer.

With the change of sovereign power the positions were abolished except the Fiscal's who remained hearing cases from Palompon to Hinunangan.

Because of the difficulty of transportation and managing the affairs of government in Tacloban, the division of Leyte into two provinces was thought to be the only solution. Prominent leaders of the West Coast rallied to the general movement of a Western Leyte.

In 1919, Rep. Ciriaco K. Kangleon representing the 2nd district from Inopacan to Cabalian from 1919-1922 presented the first bill for the division of Leyte but lost in the Senate by one vote.

In 1922, Tomas Oppus renewed the move by presenting House Bill No. 254, which became Act No. 3117. According to the said law, occidental province would embrace the towns of Villaba to Hinunangan, inclusive. The law never became effective since the governor-general did not proclaim it.

Then Act No. 3788 was passed redistricting Leyte province into five representative districts modifying the Division Law.

Then in 1957, Nicanor Espina Ynigues, Jr. defeated Rep. Pajao. Ynigues filed a bill in the house creating the Province of Southern Leyte no longer the original Western Leyte of Occidental Leyte but only the Third District of Leyte comprising the municipalities of Maasin to Hinunangan, as specified under Act 3788.

On Friday, May 22, 1959 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning, President Carlos P. Garcia signed the bill into law. Republic Act No. 2227, otherwise known as an "Act creating the province of Southern Leyte". Present and witnesses to the signing were Congressman Ynigues, Mayor Alfredo K. Bantug of Maasin, Atty. Manuel Enage, Sr., Erlinda Capili and Atty. Floro Kangleon, among others.

On July 1, 1960, Southern Leyte was inaugurated as a province with sixteen municipalities: Maasin, as the capital town and seat of the provincial government, Malitbog, Bontoc, Sogod, Libagon, Pintuyan, San Francisco, St. Bernard, Cabalian (now San Juan), Anahawan, Hinundayan, Hinunangan and Silago.

Three more municipalities were created subsequently, namely; San Ricardo from Pintuyan, Tomas Oppus from Malitbog and Limasawa from Padre Burgos.

AIRPORT

The province has only one existing airport that is located in Pananawan, Maasin. This airport is considered a feeder airport with a total runway length of 1200 meters and width of 30 meters.

The DPWH in Maasin reported that a total of 700 1 m of runway, 200 1 m extension and an access road of about 1.4 kms. From the national highway are concreted.

At present, however, the airport does not service any commercial flights. It has no terminal and can only accommodate aircraft for general aviation weighing 12,000 pounds and below at daytime.

To get to Southern Leyte by plane one has to fly to Tacloban Airport and take a bus/ or private van from there to any point in Southern Leyte

SEAPORTS

Southern Leyte has a total of 12 seaports, 2 of which are declared as national ports, the Maasin and Liloan ports and the 10 are municipal ports. Of these 10 ports, five are operational, namely, Maasin, Liloan, St. Bernard, San Juan and Sogod. By sea, travel to Cebu from Maasin port takes an average of 6 hours by ship and 2 hours by Supercat and Waterjet. A ferryboat from Liloan to Surigao takes 3 hours.The port of Hilongos is another sea route to Cebu. The port of Bato in Leyte, is a connecting point to Ubay in Bohol.

BUS TERMINALS

There are five designated bus terminals in Southern Leyte: Maasin, Liloan, Sogod, Hinunangan and Silago. But these terminals are open spaces used by buses as parking areas and are therefore not equipped with buildings and other facilities.

There are at least four (4) bus companies taking the Manila-Maasin route: Philtranco, Cedec, Inland Trailways and Ciudad. Bachelor takes the Ormoc-Maasin-Davao route.

From the capital town of Maasin, by land, it takes approximately five (5) hours travel to Tacloban City, twenty three (23) hours to Pasay City or Quezon City and nineteen hours to Davao city via the Liloan ferryboat.

Source : Department of Agriculture Regional Office


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