Alvarez: EO creating NIR would boost passage of law

Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer and Rep. Mercedes Alvarez*

Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District) said on Tuesday, January 24, that if President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issues an executive order creating the Negros Island Region, it will be a big help in influencing the passage of a pending bill in Congress seeking its creation by law.

After all it is the president who will sign the Congress’ approved bill creating the new region into law, she said.

A bill seeking the creation of the new region composed of Negros Occidental and Oriental and Siquijor has been approved by the House Committee on Local Government. It is up for deliberation before the House Committee on Appropriations before its passage on second reading, Alvarez said.

All of the Negros and Siquijor representatives are co-authors of the bill seeking the creation of the NIR.

However, Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has aired his opposition to the creation of the new region.

Alvarez said Degamo has not submitted his official stand on the creation of the new region to the House Committee on Local Government.

Negros Occidental is currently part of Region 6 and Negros Oriental and Siquijor are part of Region 7.

Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said he does not agree that Region 6 and 7 sub-regions need to be created in Occidental and Oriental via an executive order, pending the passage of the law creating the new region.

The passage of the bill creating the NIR by law should instead be hastened, Ferrer said.

It is important that a law is passed so it cannot be repealed by whomever is the president, he said.

Then President Benigno Aquino III had issued an executive order creating the NIR, which his successor President Rodrigo Duterte repealed.

Ferrer said although Degamo is opposed to the creation of a new region, the decision will be up to the representatives of Negros and Siquijor who are pushing for the passage of the law.

Degamo is in the minority, he said.

A thorough debate on the proposed creation of the NIR is needed, Senator Imee Marcos, who was in Bacolod Monday, said.

It is a very popular position in Negros Occidental but is quite controversial in places like Negros Oriental, she said.

“I am hopeful that there will be a thorough debate…I hope that at the earliest possible time we can have a decision,” Marcos said.*

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