Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Idea floated for new provinces

Idea floated for new provinces

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A cassava field is shown in the Kingdom’s youngest province Tbong Khmum. Hun Sen has called for a feasibility study that could lead to two additional provinces being carved out. Photo supplied

Idea floated for new provinces

Prime Minister-designate Hun Sen has granted the Interior Ministry’s request to conduct a feasibility study on establishing two new provinces, according to Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan.

In a letter dated August 27, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said the first new province would be carved out from Kandal. The second one would be separated from Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces, between Koh Nhek and Lumphat districts.

Kheng said the separation serves to ensure more effective public administration, better security and local development, and efficient public service delivery for the people.

Siphan echoed Kheng’s statement, saying the establishment would contribute to better governance and economic development at the provincial level.

“Creating a new province would help contribute not only to good governance but also the economy. It’s good for the economy. As we know, within each province we have a package for economic development,” he said.

“It’s not that too many [cooks spoil the broth]. It depends on efficient management that answers to public demand.”

Siphan rejected criticism that the establishment would be a waste of national budget.

“The government provides services to the public. What the government can do, it depends on stable incomes from the economy and each package for each province,” he said.

He said micro-management would be more transparent and efficient, providing convenience and a shorter timeframe in terms of public service delivery.

Ok Serei Sopheak, a public administration analyst, said creating new provinces is normal. He said it is a development that also takes place in other countries in response to the increasing population.

“It is the duties and responsibility of the government in Cambodia and beyond. When the population increases, there is a need to update and create [new] geographical administrations at provincial and district levels,” he said.

The separation is also based on economic benefits, as migration from one province to another would cause population density to fluctuate.

“When population density changes, public services must adapt accordingly. If we don’t change the administrative boundary of districts and provinces, the geographical management would be difficult,” he said.

He said forming new provinces does have its downside, citing the costs of establishing each province.

The Interior Ministry’s general administration director Prak Sam Oeun said the creation of the two provinces would be completed by early next year.

The timeframe, he said would help the government to determine the municipal, provincial, town and district council seats, in time for the third-mandate commune council elections in May next year.

Sam Oeun said the ministry had yet to establish a task force to study the possibility of creating the new provinces. The names of the new provinces, he said, would be decided when the study is completed.

Cambodia currently has 25 provinces and the capital. The government separated Banteay Meanchey province from Battambang; Kep from Kampot province; and Tboung Khmum from Kampong Cham province in early 2014.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro