Ormoc makes historic villages merging

ORMOC CITY — The local government here has made history as the first local government unit to have successfully merged a number of barangays into “super-barangays” after a landslide victory in a plebiscite on Saturday.

The Commission on Elections said the Ormoc City plebiscite is the fourth is a series of plebiscites to be held in the country this year.

With 89.34 percent of the residents casting votes in favor of the merging and only 10 percent voting against, Ormocanons resoundingly ratified the city ordinance calling for the merging barangays with small populations that the city council passed in 19 January 2021.

The results merged Barangay District Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 17, 23 and 27 into a single unit called Barangay South; Barangay District Nos. 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 25 and 28 to be called Barangay East; and Barangay District Nos. 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 26 into Barangay West. The voters also ratified to call Barangay District No. 29 into Barangay North.

The successful merging of barangays trimmed down the number of barangays in the city from 110 to 85.

Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez said success in the merging of villages was a painstaking effort of her predecessor former Mayor Richard Gomez, who now is the congressman representing Leyte’s Fourth District.

“Time will tell that this is a very good move and it will redound to better services to the barangay,” Torres-Gomez said.

Meantime, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said that despite the changing weather throughout the day, 53 percent of the more than 10,000 residents of the said 29 barangays in Ormoc City trooped to the polling center to cast their votes.

“With this reverberating decision, the City Government of Ormoc hopes and intends to bring Barangay Governance more efficiently and effectively to the people, ensure the delivery of basic services and usher the whole of government closer to the Ormocanons,” Laudiangco said.

Comelec chairperson George Garcia, on the other hand, said that the people who were involved “were able to express their sentiments, to express their feelings.”

Laudiangco said the Ormoc plebiscite completed Comelec’s commitment to schedule and hold four plebiscites within four months from the 8 June 2022 end of the election period for the 9 May 2022 elections.

The three other plebiscites were the ratification for the creation of Barangay New Canaan in Alabel, Saranggani last 20 August; the conversion of Calaca into a component city in Batangas last 3 September; and the division of Maguindanao province into Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur last 2 September.

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