12 Negros, Siquijor reps filing joint bill for creation of NIR

Twelve congressmen are jointly filing a bill seeking the establishment of the Negros Island Region (NIR), which will include the provinces of Negros Occidental and Oriental and Siquijor, on the first day of the 19th Congress on July 1, Rep. Francisco Benitez (Neg., Occ., 3rd District) said Saturday, June 18.

The agreement in the proposed bill is that regional offices of infrastructure-type agencies will be located in Bacolod City with extension offices in Dumaguete City, he said.

The social welfare agencies will be in Dumaguete City with extension offices in Bacolod City, he added.

The Negros Occidental representatives supporting the bill along with Benitez are Gerardo Valmayor – 1st District, Alfredo Marañon III – 2nd District, Juliet Marie Ferrer – 4th District, Emilio Yulo III – 5th District, Mercedes Alvarez – 6th District, Greg Gasataya – Bacolod and Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod).

Negros Oriental representatives Jocelyn Limkaichong -1st District, Manuel Sagarbarria – 2nd District and Arnolfo Teves – 3rd District, and Zaldy Villa of Siquijor are also supporting the bill, Benitez said.
Siquijor has asked to join the NIR, Benitez said.

Negros Occidental is currently under Region 6 (Western Visayas), while Negros Oriental and Siquijor are under Region 7 (Central Visayas).

Then president Benigno Aquino III issued an executive order creating the NIR that existed from May 29, 2015 to August 9, 2017. It was abolished by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Filing a bill for the creation of the NIR means it will be reestablished through a law.

Benitez said he is optimistic that the creation of the NIR will be approved.*

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