Zamboanga Sibugay is the 79th province created in the Philippines, when its territories were carved out from the third district of Zamboanga del Sur in 2001. Hence it the fourth newest province, being before now-defunct Shariff Kabunsuan (October 2006), Dinagat Islands (December 2006) and Davao Occidental (2013).
Zamboanga Sibugay was formerly part of Zamboanga del Sur. Attempts to divide Zamboanga del Sur into separate provinces date as far back as the 1960s. Several bills were filed in the Philippine Congress, but remained unacted. The new province was finally created by Republic Act No. 8973 signed into law by President Joseph Estrada on November 7, 2000. On February 24, 2001, R.A. 8973 was ratified through a plebiscite conducted in 44 municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur and Pagadian City. Zamboanga del Sur Third District Representative George Hofer was elected as its first governor in 2001.
Presently, former Diplahan Mayor Wilter Palma is the governor of the province, while the representatives of the first and second districts are Atty. Belma Cabilao and Dr. Dulce Ann K. Hofer, respectively.