Zamboanga Sibugay is a province located in the Zamboanga Peninsula region of Mindanao. Its capital is Ipil and it borders Zamboanga del Norte province to the north, Zamboanga del Sur province to the east and Zamboanga City to the southwest. To the south lies Sibuguey Bay in the Moro Gulf. Zamboanga Sibugay was created in 2001 when the third district of Zamboanga del Sur was carved out of that province. Zamboanga Sibugay is the 79th province created in the Philippines.
In early 1960’s, there was an attempt to divide Zamboanga del Sur into two Provinces. Several bills were filed in congress since the term of the late Rep. Vincenzo Sagun until that of Congresswoman Belma Cabilao to this effect. Unfortunately, all their bills remained unpassed and were relegated to the recesses of the archives.
In 1993, another initiative called the Zamboanga Occidental Movement was started that ushered in a renewed political consciousness among the people of the 3rd District of Zamboanga del Sur. This movement was that strong that a People’s Initiative was conducted simultaneously with the May 1997 Barangay Elections. In this exercise, majority of the voters signed in favor for a new Province.
It was in the term of Congressman George T. Hofer of the municipality of Titay. True to his campaign promise, he sponsored House Bill No. 1311. His bill sailed to rough waters as expected. But as the saying goes, “When the going gets rough, only the tough gets going.” He managed to push the bill up in the ladders of congress, gave it a new identity by naming the proposed Province as Zamboanga Sibugay. He lobbied for its approval in the senate and had the President of the Republic former President Joseph E. Estrada finally approve the creation of the new Province. Republic Act 8973 embodies the legal creation of Zamboanga Sibugay Province.