Creation of the City
When Samal Islands were created into three municipalities, it was perceived that its development would be mobilized being located proximately to the progressive metropolis of Davao and nearby growth centers in Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur. Yet, after the passed decades since its creation as municipalities in 1948 and as three district municipalities in 1953 and 1966 its development lagged far behind from its neighboring local government units. Hence in 1996 the high ranking officials of Davao del Norte led by Congressman Rodolfo del Rosario and Provincial Governor Propspero S. Amatong with other members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan moved on to usher Samal a new vision of hope before its Golden Anniversary in 1998. During this year a new concept of development strategy cropped up which is the creation of an urban center in a rural environment that would set a new horizon of modernity and prioritize quality public service delivery.
When Samal was created into a municipality the desire of the early administrators was to decentralize the decision-making in the delivery of basic services to reach out the countryside of the Island. Since Samal Island is geographically separated from Davao del Norte, delays in addressing the needs of its constituents was experienced due to the difficulty in mobility.
The Province centralized system in decision making is considered as one contributory factor in the Island under-development issue. Expected development for the three municipalities were not attained due to its sluggish development endeavor. Potentials in the Island are not properly secured, harnessed and maximized.
Henceforth, it was realized that having more local government units in an Island with different sets of policy makers is not a guarantee for development, instead this could hinder expected development due to its distinct geographical character.
With the foregoing realities, Congressman Rodolfo P. del Rosario passed the Bill that result to the passage of Republic Act 8471, which paved the way for the integration of the three municipalities into one local government unit that is now called the Island Garden City of Samal. This was signed on January 30, 1998 by His Excellency, President Fidel V. Ramos and was overwhelmingly approved by the people of the locality during the plebiscite held on March 7, 1998. Almost four months later, on June 30, 1998, the new city began exercising its corporate powers.
At first, people from all walks of life were resistant on its name for its too long. Other simply remarked that with the physical attributes of the locality, it does not deserve to be called a City. With due respect to these observations, only few had realized that the creation of the city is totally distinct in the sense that it embraces the new dimension of development which hopefully will make things happen for its people.
The new development strategy will promote the consolidation of resources and redefine thereof the development boundaries to uphold residents support in the merging of three municipalities in the Island.