Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito assured on Tuesday, Nov. 21, that the Negros Island Region bill is not stuck in the Senate Committee on Local Government, he is just making sure that all bases are covered to ensure its passage into law.
The House of Representatives earlier this year approved a bill seeking the creation of the NIR composed of Negros Occidental and Oriental, and Siquijor, and its counterpart measure is now pending before the Senate Committee on Local Government chaired by Ejercito.
Ejercito said there is “no truth to the insinuation that the NIR Bill is stuck in my committee. As I mentioned before there were unforeseen circumstances like the death of (Gov. Roel) Degamo and his successor which delayed the process since we need to respect also the position of Negros Oriental”.
He and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri have already met with Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Negros Oriental Gov. Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria, Ejercito said.
All of the Negros Island and Siquijor representatives and governors support the creation of the NIR.
They just need to convince President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the country’s economic team of the viability of the NIR, Ejercito said.
The president is “apprehensive because of the cost putting up a new region will entail,” the senator said.
“We don’t want to pass the measure only to be vetoed. That is why we are making sure all bases are covered,” Ejercito said.
Zubiri earlier assured that the Senate would approve the NIR bill in December.*