The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) announced on May 1 that the Prelature of Ipil (Zamboanga Sibugay) has been elevated to a full diocese, with its Ipil Bishop Julius Tonel as its first bishop. Ipil, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, is the 11th diocese in Mindanao and the 58th in the entire country, the CBCP website said. It has a population of nearly 600, 000 of which 65 percent are Catholics. The new diocese has 19 parishes, 32 priests and 31 religious sisters.

PIMEs has four men working there: Fr. Ilario Trobbiani and Emereson Gazetta in the Parish of Sampoli, fr. Bruno Vanin in Bayog and fr. Stefano Mosca in Lakewood.