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[PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1092, (1977-02-14)](
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[ PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1092, February 14, 1977 ]


WHEREAS, there is a proposal to merge Regions IX and XII as an autonomous region, and to include the provinces of Palawan, Davao del Sur and South Cotabato as part of that region;

WHEREAS, it is necessary that the people in Region IX and XII and in the provinces of Palawan, Davao del Sur and South Cotabato should participate in deciding this proposal;

WHEREAS, there is a need to prescribe the mechanism on the manner by which such regional plebiscite shall be conducted;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order the following:

SECTION 1. Plebiscite. — There is hereby called on February 21, 1977, a regional plebiscite through the barangays in the provinces and cities of Regions IX and XII and in the provinces of Palawan, Davao del Sur and South Cotabato to resolve the questions stated in the next section.

SECTION 2. Questions to be resolved. — The questions to be resolved by the constituencies indicated hereunder shall be as follows:

For Voters of Regions 9 and 12

"Do you approve the merger of Region 9 and 12 into one autonomous region?"

For Voters of Palawan, Davao del Sur and South Cotabato

"Do you approve the inclusion of your province as part of an autonomous region in Southwestern Philippines (Regions 9 and/or 12)?"

SECTION 3. Supervision and control of plebiscite and implementation of this Decree by the Commission on Elections. — For purposes of this plebiscite, the Commission on Elections shall, in addition to the powers conferred upon it by the Constitution, supervise the conduct of voting and canvass of ballots, and exercise such other powers and functions as may be necessary to implement this Decree.

SECTION 4. Who are entitled to vote. — All qualified barangay voters duly registered in the October, 1976 referendum-plebiscite shall be entitled to vote in the plebiscite herein provided.

Any person who is not a registered barangay voter but who has all the necessary qualifications and none of the disqualifications under the law may apply for registration in accordance with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 210.

SECTION 5. List of barangay voters. — The list of Barangay Voters of the October, 1976 referendum-plebiscite shall be used in this plebiscite, together with the list of new voters.

SECTION 6. Barangay plebiscite committee. — Without prejudice to the authority of the Commission on Elections to replace or appoint the members of a barangay plebiscite committee, the members of the referendum-plebiscite committees that functioned as such during the October, 1976 referendum-plebiscite in the areas concerned shall compose the plebiscite committees for this plebiscite.

SECTION 7. Powers of the barangay plebiscite committee. — For purposes of this plebiscite, the barangay plebiscite committee shall have the following powers and functions:

a) Supervise the voting and the canvass of voters in their respective barangay plebiscite centers;

b) Act as deputies of the Commission in the supervision and control of the plebiscite processes in their respective centers to assure the holding of a free, orderly and honest plebiscite; and

c) Perform such other functions prescribed by this Decree and by the rules and regulations or instructions promulgated or issued by the Commission.

SECTION 8. Barangay plebiscite centers. — Without prejudice to the establishment of new barangay plebiscite centers, or the transfer or splitting of existing ones, the barangay voting centers which functioned as such during the October, 1976 referendum-plebiscite in the areas concerned shall be used as the barangay plebiscite centers for this plebiscite.

SECTION 9. Creation of new barangay plebiscite centers. — In places where there are no existing barangay voting centers and there are at least two hundred voters, the Commission shall establish new barangay plebiscite centers. Said centers shall, as far as practicable, be located in public schools buildings or other public buildings upon consultation with barangay or sanggunian officials.

SECTION 10. Canvass and proclamation by the Commission. — Canvass shall be made by the Commission in any convenient place within the regions and provinces concerned. Sitting en banc, it shall meet not later than seven o'clock in the evening of the day of the plebiscite to canvass the plebiscite results that may have already been received. It shall meet continuously from day to day until the canvass is completed and may adjourn only for the purpose of awaiting the other plebiscite returns from other places. To facilitate the canvass, the Commission may create committees or subcommittees.

SECTION 11. Observers. — Civic, religious, youth and other similar organizations may designate not more than two observers each, under written authority to be accredited by the election registrar, to observe the registration of voters, casting of votes, and counting of the votes in the barangay plebiscite centers.

The observers shall have the right to stay in the space reserved for them within the barangay plebiscite center, to witness and inform themselves of the proceedings of the committee, to take note of what they may see or hear, to file a protest against any irregularity which they believe may have been committed by the committee members, to obtain from the poll clerk a certificate as to the filing of such protest or the resolution thereof, and to read the ballots, without touching them, after they have been read by the chairman, but they shall not speak to the committee members, or to the voters, or among themselves in such manner as to interrupt or disturb the proceedings.

SECTION 12. Plebiscite propaganda. — The provisions of Section 47 and 48 of the Election Code of 1971 shall govern the use of lawful and prohibited propaganda during the period of the plebiscite.

SECTION 13. Information and educational campaign. — Every barangay in the regions and provinces concerned shall hold assemblies or meetings on any date before the plebiscite for the purpose of informing or enlightening its members regarding the significance and meaning of the plebiscite to enable them to cast their votes intelligently.

During the information and educational campaign, the barangays therein shall encourage free, full and constructive discussion and exchange of views on the issues, including the holding of meetings or rallies, and, to this end, may enlist the assistance of knowledgeable persons from both public and private sectors to act as speakers or resource persons.

SECTION 14. Free discussion and debate on the plebiscite questions. — Any person who is a duly registered voter in the regions and provinces concerned shall not be questioned, interrogated or investigated before or after the plebiscite for any speech, remark or statement in any discussion or debate intended to explain the plebiscite questions or to enlighten the people in the political subdivisions affected about the issues involved, or for any view for or against any or all of the questions made in public rallies or debates, or in other forms of communications, radio or television. Such remark, statement or view shall not be admissible as evidence in any investigation or suit against the person or persons making them.

The printing of pamphlets, leaflets, posters, handbills and other printed materials designed to explain the plebiscite questions or to enlighten the people concerned about them, and the dissemination or circulation of these materials shall be allowed and in no way restricted, subject to pertinent and applicable provisions of the Election Code of 1971 and the regulations that may be promulgated by the Commission in relation to Section 5 of General Order No. 51. No person who is duly registered as a voter in the regions and provinces concerned shall be held to account for views expressed in these printed materials. Such printed materials shall likewise be inadmissible as evidence in any investigation or suit against any person or persons printing, publishing or circulating them: Provided, however, that any printed material shall not be allowed to be disseminated or circulated if it does not indicate the name and address of the author thereof as well as the name and address of the printer.

SECTION 15. Commission to prescribe necessary plebiscite forms, secure materials and services. — The Commission shall prescribe the necessary forms and may secure any supplies, materials or services needed for the holding of this plebiscite either by negotiation or through sealed quotations if it finds the requirements of public bidding impracticable to observe. The services of personnel may be hired under contractual basis if this method is found to be more expedient and economical.

SECTION 16. Over time services of Commission personnel. — Any provision of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, the Commission may require its officials and employees, and those assigned thereto, to work overtime in connection with the implementation of this Decree after the required office hours on regular working days and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and on scheduled rest days, and pay compensation therefor in accordance with rates prescribed under existing laws.

SECTION 17. Commission to promulgate rules and regulations. — The Commission shall promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this Decree.

SECTION 18. Suppletory application. — The provisions of Presidential Decrees Nos. 210, 229, and 1053, insofar as they are not inconsistent with this Decree, shall apply to the plebiscite herein provided.

SECTION 19. Separability clause. — If, for any reason, any section or provisions of this Decree, or any portion thereof, or the application of such section, provision or portion to any person, group or circumstance, is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the Decree or the application of the other provisions to any person, group or circumstance shall not be affected by such declaration.

SECTION 20. Appropriations. — To carry out the provisions of this Decree, the sum of TWO MILLION PESOS (P2,000,000.00) is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated to be spent under the exclusive authority of the Commission.

SECTION 21. Effectivity. — This Decree shall take effect immediately.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 14th day of February, in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Seven.



President of the Philippines



By the President:  


  Presidential Executive Assistant