Surigao City 118,534Siargao Island & Bucas Grande 93,354Dinagat Island 106,951Under Section 461 of R.A. No. 7610, otherwise known as The Local Government Code, aprovince may be created if it has an average annual income of not less than P20 millionbased on 1991 constant prices as certified by the Department of Finance, and a populationof not less than 250,000 inhabitants as certified by the NSO, or a contiguous territory of atleast 2,000 square kilometers as certified by the Lands Management Bureau. The territoryneed not be contiguous if it comprises two or more islands or is separated by a charteredcity or cities, which do not contribute to the income of the province.On April 3, 2002, the Office of the President, through its Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, advised the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Surigao del Norteof the deficient population in the proposed Province of Dinagat Islands.
In July 2003, the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte conducted a special census,with the assistance of an NSO District Census Coordinator, in the Dinagat Islands todetermine its actual population in support of the house bill creating the Province of DinagatIslands. The special census yielded a population count of 371,576 inhabitants in theproposed province. The NSO, however, did not certify the result of the special census. OnJuly 30, 2003, Surigao del Norte Provincial Governor Robert Lyndon S. Barbers issuedProclamation No. 01, which declared as official, for all purposes, the 2003 Special Censusin Dinagat Islands showing a population of 371,576.
The Bureau of Local Government Finance certified that the average annual income of theproposed Province of Dinagat Islands for calendar year 2002 to 2003 based on the 1991constant prices was P82,696,433.23. The land area of the proposed province is 802.12square kilometers.On August 14, 2006 and August 28, 2006, the Senate and the House of Representatives,respectively, passed the bill creating the Province of Dinagat Islands. It was approved andenacted into law as R.A. No. 9355 on October 2, 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.On December 2, 2006, a plebiscite was held in the mother Province of Surigao del Norte todetermine whether the local government units directly affected approved of the creation of the Province of Dinagat Islands into a distinct and independent province comprising themunicipalities of Basilisa, Cagdianao, Dinagat, Libjo (Albor), Loreto, San Jose, and Tubajon.The result of the plebiscite yielded 69,943 affirmative votes and 63,502 negative votes.
On December 3, 2006, the Plebiscite Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed that thecreation of Dinagat Islands into a separate and distinct province was ratified and approvedby the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite.