I. BRIEF HISTORY OF QUIRINO PROVINCE
The youngest Province in Cagayan Valley Region II consist of only six (6) municipalities namely Cabarroguis, (its capital) Diffun, Saguday, Aglipay, Maddela and Nagtipunan. During its creation on the year 1970 it has an estimated population of 49,767. After thirty (30) years of existence, on census year 2000 it has a total population of 147,100 with a 2.50% annual growth rate.
Quirino Province acquired its juridical personality as a result of the division of the Province of Nueva Vizcaya on June 18, 1966 under R.A. 4734. It was named in the honor of the then President Elpidio A. Quirino. The municipalities of Diffun, Maddela, Saguday and Aglipay composed the newly born sub-province and the first elected Lieutenant Governor in the 1967 general elections was Hon. Jose B. Aquino.
On June 21, 1969, three years after its birth as a sub- province, R.A. 5554 was enacted amending R.A. 4734 creating the Municipality of Cabarroguis taken from portions of the municipalities of Diffun, Saguday and Aglipay. The Act was introduced and sponsored by former Congressman Floro S. Crisologo and Melanio T. Singson.
Finally, R.A. 6394 was passed on September 10, 1971 further amending R.A. No. 5554 separating the sub-province of Quirino from its mother province of Nueva Vizcaya constituting into a regular province. Hon. Leonardo B. Perez former Congressman, Senator, Chairman of the Commission on Elections and Concurrently the Political Affairs Minister and Hon. Benjamin B. Perez, former Congressman and Assemblyman for Region II at the Interim Batasang Pambansa(IBP), had worked for the passage of R.A. 6394.
A portion of this province was formerly a part of the province of Isabela which was recovered and restored to the province of Nueva Vizcaya by the late Congressman Leon Cabarroguis for which the provincial capital was named in his honor.
The province of Quirino is seated at the southern part of Region 02. Quirino’s total land area of 305,720 hectares consisted of six municipalities, namely: Diffun at the northern tip, inwardly facing south is the capital town of Cabarroguis, Saguday at the east, Aglipay at the center, followed by Maddela and the southernmost town of Nagtipunan. It constitutes 11% of the Region’s total land area.
Geographically, the province of Quirino is bounded by the province of Nueva Vizcaya in the west and southwest, province of Isabela in the north and northeast, and the province of Maria Aurora in the south.
Though a small province, Quirino is highly significant in the Region in terms of economic and environmental considerations. The importance is viewed the fact that headwaters of the country’s biggest River System called the Cagayan River. That she holds the upper tip of the river that emanates from the province with its direction of the flow down the entire length of the Cagayan Valley to the north. Three other rivers drain the rainwater and underground water of Quirino, namely: Ganano River at northern Quirino, Dumatata River, and Addalem River, and the Casecnan and Conwaprivers joining the Upper Cagayan River within Quirino area. The common outlet of these rivers all connects to Cagayan River in Southern Isabela.
These major tributary rivers are significant water resources which are an indicator that Quirino province has the biggest upland watershed area of the Region. In fact, the Cagayan Valley Plains starts at the foothills of Quirino province. Hence, Quirino is consistently having four major watersheds that are environmentally fragile. In the wholeness, Quirino given its allocation of vast highlands could pose a region-wide menace if not adequately managed and protected.